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1 poem
by
Natalie Louise Tombasco

Natalie Louise Tombasco is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University and serves as the Interviews Editor of the Southeast Review. Her work can be found in Best New Poets, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, Fairy Tale Review, Yalobusha Review, The Rumpus, Southern Indiana Review, Poet Lore, and VIDA Review, among others. She has a chapbook titled Collective Inventions (CutBank 2021).

The Descent Into Dickinson

“I opened the Door” “to your alabaster planet” “hit a World, at every plunge” “slumped down & down” “a sleep-warm tunnel” “that was Amherst-winter-dark” “felt like Victorian lace curtains” “the voices” “dispersed” “as I fine-tuned my dreaming” “to labor” “in four-beat, three-beat” “down-feathered hymns” “safe in this underground chamber” “of train tracks, tenor & vehicle” “souls with pocketwatches” “perpetually late” “velvet heads streaming Grand Central” “I grew accustomed to the light” “pouring through Windows” “poor janitor, mopping up” “maelstroms of white dresses” “but I am a visitor” “my business is theft” “I stole the ‘eat me’ Crumbs” “none are left”  “the Closet said,  ‘we’ve been expecting you’”  “& so I crawled through” “your Society:” “the garden district” “of fetal petals” “veiny wonderland” “forgetting myself minute by minute” “Hope dug its ostrich-head in the sand” “‘can you re-mother me?’ I asked” “the somebodies” “but they were mercury-brained” “gap-toothed gladiolus” “rude animals” “a powder-wigged newfoundland” “asked ‘who are YOU?’” “I'm nobody! who are you?” “are you” “nobody” “too?” “blew hookah circumference in my face” “the best way to describe” “a thing” “is to uncover what it is not:”  “a house”  “is a feminist epic”  “a thrush” “is a tyrant” “the divine creator” “is a bird-boned girl”  “then the tailor”  “handed me a little pilgrim hat” “& escape capsule into the upper-world:” “the I” “became black ice” “a waxed floor, continuously” “& I finished knowing” “then