Marielle Prince

I Knew You Had Altered Me

My girl, she lived above
sea level barely / political squabbling / the poverty line / a garage.
Booze / Arguments in elevators / Her lover’s boat / Her love
gave her vertigo. She met
him at work / an ambitious man / with some resistance / his parents.
His boss / God in a screech owl / She / The recent dead
spoke to him at night. He brought her
a drink / sad news with kisses / daisies / down.
Packing only her papers / A split in her lip / She does not say if
she ran away.

Tell Me You Love Me

If the word is a weed in the plot of your mouth
Here I am with my trowel; I will dig the word out
And the root in your gut will tug loose and come up
And you will be freed, if the word is a weed;

If the word is a weight in the boat of your brain
I will jettison freight ‘til it floats right again
And the tonnage I’ve tossed may come at a cost
But you will be safe, if the word is a weight;

If the word is a ward in the house of your jaw
I’ll craft grounds to evict from neglected bylaws
And when I move in, I’ll steam clean your chin
And you’ll be adored, if the word is a ward;

If the word is a wart on the hide of your face
Here I am with my ice; here I am with my blade
But the blood I will let will be for naught yet—
It comes back for more; the word is a war.


my hands are antsy—
fingers single file
on the hem stick
to my shirt as it flips—
möbius strip—last bit
of seaming under your
hands which heel
to my body—
each finger like a dog
tugging a leash
picking up my scent—
my fingers make a fence
across your chest—
you at this surface
of my unkempt grounds—
hands up means keep out
then mine find
the sweetest trail—
hands down