by Rebecca Martin
Rebecca Martin (she/they) creates poetry that centers embodied queer femme experience through the personal, familial, and political, simultaneously in conversation with and troubled by the parameters of history, archive, and myth. Their work has most recently appeared or will appear in print in DATABLEED, Muzzle Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, Dream Pop Press, Birdcoat Quarterly, Pretty Owl Poetry, and others. She received her MFA in poetry at Oregon State University, where she was awarded the Graduate Creative Writing Award in Poetry and served as poetry editor for literary magazine 45th Parallel and department steward for their graduate employee union. They currently teach writing at the University of Pittsburgh and serve as a manuscript reader for the Alice James Award.
The Terminator (1984)
The remarkable thing about two women murdered
in the same day is that they share an echo:
reverberating pools of light hiding
in the clean holes of the skull. A gasp
can become laughter if you have the facts.
The woman who the bullets are meant for kisses
her roommate, Ginger, on the cheek, sunset-
pink held in the volume of synth-
swell, in the tiny fibers of her cardigan. Better
than mortal man deserves. Their shoulders sway
close, a seismic hover: like the earth, they tense
before exhaling. Like on any night I stood holding
my eyes shut, waiting for my own roommate
to brush cheap shimmer across the lid, the shared
bathroom mirror refracts soft coral,
the inside of a seashell splayed out
and made pliable. In the background
the phone rings and rings.
Scaly routine of ordinary terror
knocks over a box of wheat crackers
as Ginger rummages in the kitchen,
a satin robe cinched at her waist. It shines
like the huge plastic bag full of lettuce,
like a gallon of milk clinging to her fingers,
the fridge light glowing on her calves.
Her headphones wail, sing-talking over
eighties synth-drums in a monotone: