A Spaghetti That Grows on Trees
By Amelia Martens
You want to be an artist in space. We throw fog across the exact number of female astronauts and drive you to art class. We buy a globe so you know what Earth looks like from the outside. You are outside. In the car of a thousand questions, it is too loud to explain how we want you to merge and not merge. We want you to be everything, and elsewhere on Earth: your body is so undervalued, some other mother is forced to leave her daughter by the roadside, abandoned in a wasteland of toxic preferences. We do not show you the numbers; instead, we fill your bookshelves with famous and should-be-famous women. Look, look, look—we say did you know—and we did not know. And we do not know. And what injustice are we doing by not telling you. There is a layer of atmosphere that wants to burn you on exit and re-entry. Look, look, look—the stars, you say, send a message of dead light in a blink and miss it code. Look again, you say—see this planet, no one knows yet—look—new trees.
AMELIA MARTENS is the author of “The Spoons in the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat” (Sarabande Books, 2016), and four poetry chapbooks, including “Ursa Minor” (elsewhere magazine, 2018). She is the recipient of a 2019 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council; her work has also been supported by a Sustainable Arts Foundation fellowship to Rivendell Writers’ Colony and by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. The title of the poem above comes from Bradford Angier’s book “How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation That Makes Starvation in the Wilderness Next to Impossible.” She met her husband in the Indiana University MFA program; together they have created the Rivertown Reading Series, “Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art” and two awesome daughters.