Cloak

By 
Catherine Graham

“sky. There is no edge from which to hang
my plumb-line. No ledge on which to lay
my spirit-level. And you are outside piling logs,
working on your own wreckage.”
—Dorothy Molloy, Sobs rack my chest

I hide my power in a cloak I hoard as anger.
My jaw gears like a charging bull;
hairs horn from my butting forehead.

Stick of flame, I bring fresh heat
to a room like sun in sky. There is no edge
from which to hang
your escape. I whore surrender.

Not bad this giving up. No tit
for tat just a hit in the chest
where you slip between heartbeats.

Catherine Graham is the author of the poetry trilogy: Pupa, The Red Element, and Winterkill (2003, 2008, 2010, Insomniac Press). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

Room relies on subscriptions from readers like you. Help us continue to promote and support diverse women and genderqueer authors and artists by subscribing today.

SUBSCRIBE

More from the Reading Room

Currently on Newsstands

  • Migration Cover
    Room 40.3, Migration
    Edited by Nav Nagra

    In this issue:

    Rasha Abdulhadi, Juliane Okot Bitek, Ariane Both, Aimee Henny Brown, Leonarda Carranza, Rose-Anne Chabot, Karla Comanda, Marita Dachsel, Stacy Gardner, Branwyn Holroyd, Sandeep Johal, Sharon Kirsch, Katherine Koller, Lydia Kwa, Emily McKibbon, Amanda Merpaw, Shelley Marie Motz, Dorothy Nielsen, Rita O’Grady, Kimberly Peterson, Claire Polders, Ramna Safeer, Nilofar Shidmehr, Arielle Spence, Chanda Stallman, Catherine J. Stewart, Florence Treadwell, Sarah Wolfson, Annie Wong

    .