Mary Szybist


Script Says Cry

They look more alert and patient now.
They quiet around me and wait.
I must be frail here, summon the appearance
as it is a cold day, as the curtains are thick with dust—

But I am all interruption.
I arch my back a trifle, my mouth embarrassed and open—

A metal teaspoon slants in a glass cup;
I lean on a chair at the same angle.
I try to hold still. My leaning begins to swoon,
I touch my head with one fingertip, flinch.
I bring my mouth to my shoulder and nudge it.

A handkerchief falls. The moment is still going on,
the lamp at the end of the table is still coating the room
with its expected flush, and the natural heat of my body,
though conscious of great sweetness,

is growing colder as the moment presses closer, against me,
with eyes intent on me. . .
but they are tired of me now.

I look at them more directly than I have for several minutes.
To continue past the moment I say I am thirsty
and continue past the moment

EPR #5:

Self-Portrait with a Bee in my Mouth

© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review