Friday 12 January 2018

The Travel Channel 

by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

It took me forever to learn how to love—
to love wide open with the throat singing arias
with the arms waving like banners
with the heart bleeding flesh
with the entrails leaking
with that profound wound of womanhood
that waits for you like a bruised ripening hunger                                          
that trembles for you like an unhinged moon
that weeps for you as you enter me without a sound. 

How to love openly is an art. I do it best in my head
without you. With the lights off and the television on—
stepping back into myself like your favorite rerun
Afraid that you will   see the silent movies in my eyes 
Afraid that you will   study my veins like roadmaps
that stretch across the sagging accordion of my ribs
into the rolling hills, the deep divide of my conscious being.
that you will mistake my matching carry-on luggage
for that cute set of accessories you will carry-off one day
to that land of used dreams without me.

In your mind, I am merely a reflection of you—
a mirror with a memory that unfolds now in slow motion
only after you’ve pulled out of the tunnel and already
left the station. The voice that—just before you switch the channel—
knows how to love you with its mouth wide-open
and screams faster than you can say fast forward:
I gave you my body…now I want it back!

* * * * *

"The Travel Channel" was first published in Iodine Poetry Journal.

Widely published, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko's work has appeared in XXI Century World Literature (in which she represents France), CounterPunch, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology,  The Rumpus, Levure Litteraire, Big Bridge, The Opiate, Strangers in Paris, Occupy Poets’ Anthology (in which she is distinguished as an American Poet), and Maintenant: Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art archived at the Smithsonian Institution in Washinton, D.C. and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She is the Writer/Poet in Residence for SpokenWord Paris.

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