August 2002

Lisa Gluskin


Lisa Gluskin's work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Red Rock Review, and Mississippi Review. She lives in San Francisco, where lately she's been writing poems inspired by street signs and theoretical cosmology.
Desire: Chapter 1  

They met you in your body where you couldn't go alone
—Brenda Hillman, "The Spark"

and you depended on them, once you found
what they could do    their hands
despite the awkwardness    (for a long time

there was awkwardness    but you didn't know, having nothing
to compare it to):    those hands
with the half-moon nails, calluses

from the guitars    the oars    the paintbrushes
what you found they could do    I mean, you could spend hours
just looking at their hands    in lecture hall, on steering wheels

and at parties.    Even though until then
nothing had happened really—   there was this idea first
that they belonged on you, in you    (starfish of the real,

the key to your release. Your adult life:    this thing
you were saving up for: incandescent)—   unlike the other girls, the ones
with their demure sweaters, and maybe the ones too

in the leather pants, both of whom
wanted only the smallest, simplest—   You wanted everything.
The luminous, the underwater. You thought their hands held the spark.

No wonder, then:    their turns away, the squinting and shuffling.
The sea-green glow of your inner eye.



Lisa Gluskin: Poetry
Copyright © 2002 The Cortland Review Issue 21The Cortland Review