Amanda DeMarco

It Was a Lot of ‘He Said, She Said.’

The child fell in love with an inflatable rubber donkey,
when they embraced the squeaking broke my heart (eee-aw, eee-aw).

Up close a horse’s eye is flecked with hair and grit. It’s disgusting,
which neither impairs its vision nor causes it discomfort. Like the human soul.

A toy for a child: cockle shell filled with seaweed that rehydrates
when dropped in an aquarium. The seaweed forces open the shell.

Also hidden inside, a pearl with a pre-drilled hole,
ready to be strung as a necklace.

What was it the world was made for? (Unfolding or stringing up?)
Everything’s belonging is asserted in its being. Do not buy into this.

Some people buy books. My mother collects miniature roosters.
In collecting, variation is pleasant because it is not too varied

and we can indulge our obsession in finding every expression
of the desired sameness. Children love collecting.

Children understand only details and that is why we love children,
incapable as they are of ideology.

I’m not good enough for them. (Nothing is.) I’m the man in the factory
who packs the pearl back into the shell. I’m the man who packs up the world.

The moss continued to grow inside the terrarium. This world is more perfect
than any world our stupid god heaped up around us.

Though one may translate the German word Fernweh as wanderlust,
I prefer to think of it as the opposite of homesickness.

A fine algae slowly glazed the jug’s walls like a green fog,
that inner land was lost to us forever. Except

peering with one eye down the uncorked mouth, a distant, peaceful country:
jealous, jealous.

When I said I ate oatmeal every day, he looked at me in horror and said,
‘Porridge? Like an orphan?’

Did you know a horse can use its eyes independently to see two images at once?
My mother used to say, ‘Girl, you lie like a rug.’

In fact, my mother still says that.
The Germans say, ‘You lie like printed material,’ so the newspaper.

But I’m not! It was a lot of ‘he said, she said’:
he said ‘the human condition,’ and I said ‘drunkenness?’

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