[The Variant Project]


Variant 4

Dispatches from an Impending Marriage

Marita Dachsel

“Now we are persons breaking open. The real is not enough to pleasure us.”

—Lisa Robertson
The Weather

Take this razor & slice the soles of my feet.
            Roll me out of my skin.
I am a silk stocking.
I am your joy.

You are a fool
to keep the bathroom window open
in weather like this.

The tub is much too cold

even water that should be scalding
can't lift the chill from the porcelain.

Don't talk to me about photographers.
Nothing will capture this. A printed paper
will only mock—
                 a gaudy misrepresentation
                 a plastic jesus on the mantle—
two dimensions of fabric, teeth & skin.

It is not that we are too tired for sex.
No. It is something else completely.

Please let me burrow in there.
Yes, there right below your sternum.

Let me core into you.

We share soaps & lotions,
an alchemy of scents.
But it is not enough to smell the same.

A misplaced nail clipping.
I try to slip it under my skin,

a moon-shaped nub of you at my wrist
(instead, I ingest you
                                nibble, nibble

There is talk about the stove.

I was told the new gas ones
have a safety on them to prevent—

you assure me ours is too old.
It does not.

Try this:
inhale. Slow, deep, aggressive.

Snort me in scalp first.
I can fit.
             There will be room
             for two.



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Marita Dachsel's impending marriage takes place in early July. Her poetry has been published in numerous Canadian literary journals, most recently in Grain and The Dalhousie Review with more forthcoming in Descant. She is completing her first novel and lives in Vancouver.


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