Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Awake

BY CLAIRE DONATO

I contrive the image of a mattress as a digital streaming documentary without pretending my conflation = compelling art. Then I archive the state between life and death—how we are already in it—and this permanence activates something certain. And because you say so, I think of water as a weapon. Were you there that night? I think of a bird’s beak being torn out of its face prior to slaughter, then think of becoming a mother, then dismiss this speculation—i.e., I dismiss the concept of elegant complications in favor of complicated feelings. Wherein rage accumulates, I participate in a boycott of carbonated water; I stand in the center of the police raid calling for a mass embargo; I paint a line across a driveway, indicating political boundaries; then I compliment a fellow activist’s hair. It looks nice, I say, and nice invokes the old French meaning not to know. Where did you go? I hope you are ok, begin stacking geodesic coasters—one on top of the other on top of the next—to set terms for our relation. Were it to be assessed, I would become the token parallelogram—I, the college-aged organizer earning a degree in English writing—or I, a creature of longstanding despair, who does not yet know that my future was you.

 



Claire Donato is the author of Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press) and The Second Body (Poor Claudia; Tarpaulin Sky Press, forthcoming). Recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Society of America, Fanzine, BOMB, Ninth Letter, and DIAGRAM. Her digital language art has been screened at MoMA PS1, Knockdown Center, and SPACE Gallery. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the BFA Writing Program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.