45.3 Audacity Teaser: Two Poems by Meghan Gagliardi

Meghan Gagliardi

Issue 45.3 Audacity has arrived! In celebration of the issue, please enjoy some exclusive content: two propulsive poems by Meghan Gagliardi.

_________

A WELL

Alone again, I get home at 5 a.m. The apartment’s got no air.
I strip and stare into the bathroom mirror

try to record what it’s like to be this alone
not even the memory of a body in my bed.

I have to believe this time alone important
but the pressure to make my loneliness meaningful

to produce good content about being a well!
I haven’t got it in me.

No one’s born lonely
I was hollowed out young

by an empty person through an ordinary violence,
now tasked with living out this enemy emptiness on their behalf.

At the bathroom mirror I watch myself
living it out

I try
to soothe

and find myself lined up just right against the sink as I reach up to tie my hair
and my body slides against the edge of it just so
and I lean forward into the curved ceramic put two fingers first in my mouth
and then up inside myself press my forehead against the glass of the mirror
wrap my free arm around my waist and fuck myself until I finish

I am thinking of no one,
a lonely well.

I leave a glossy face print of drool and sweat on the mirror
like a shrine to the person who otherwise might have been

the ceramic sink still wet and weeping
water pooling where I wash myself off
my hard-won spit and sweat distorting
the reflection of a body hollowed out
ringing empty and thirsting:

something to leave behind for whoever comes along next
more proof of life than anything else.

 

CAREENING

At my loneliest I choose a lover for every corner of the city
the city is brand new to me and appears completely flat
the water is the bottom edge

A is one shorter side I am the other
V just above the water line
R toward the top

X becomes a tenuous if not unwilling centre
from which I careen to other beds and back again

sonic boom euphoric hurtling towards convergence manically pursuing mirages I leave a bit of blood behind a promising stain a lot of my hair in the morning I ping home sticky all over from every blessed liquid

a stranger flashes me in the middle of the city I am wide-eyed it’s not even 10 a.m. I’ve seen too much dick for such an early hour I’ve already walked 20 kilometres between beds and my body is all beat up from hands the slapped ass a firm grip something deranged muttered at climax I’m deranged too but mutter only to myself

R says my body will pay the price for my wanting but my body reaps the rewards, too
V suspects I’m on the precipice of something
A swears he sees complication in my future

my ego becomes enormous it is the complex sunrise over the city the city is lit up burnt orange glowing eclipsed by my ego and at this point I am simply lucky to trail behind, my ego like a mad beacon exposing itself to strangers

the careening wants for purpose the careening creates a hot energy and I need it for the kitchen

the whole apartment is kitchen and something is always cooking the bed is its own place entirely the bed becomes its own city but it’s all edge there is no centre the bed is populated the bed is not safe right now come back tomorrow instead

in bed I’m mostly present, present at least at climax otherwise I’m occupied by my wondering and walking around pursuing mirages muttering only to myself listening for climax looking toward apartment seeking safety when the bed is not safe you can see the whole city from the kitchen and everything in it is brand new cooked up from the energy stored up from the slapped ass a firm grip

pleasure is the means and whatever it accomplishes will be more powerful than what produced it
there is nothing complex about this calculation
there is no complication except that I am still entirely alone.

Whatever is more powerful than pleasure is not to be trifled with
but it remains elusive and therefore mysterious to me

X wonders what the careening is about
I wonder too how to make it meaningful

we approach an understanding
when he pries me open on the bed and says “you feel like a well.”

A lonely well! Pried open and pouring
towards the bed’s unforgiving edge

there is no centre
there’s no understanding either
but the careening shares a burden that I don’t know how to leave alone.

Even in the confusion of climax
I manage
to keep completely still,

suspended on the precipice of something
and holding out.

_________

Get your copy of 45.3 Audacity here!

Meghan Gagliardi is a poet and scholar based in Toronto/Tkaronto. Her creative and intellectual work is broadly concerned with the body, possession, and intimate and intergenerational violence.

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Cover of Audacity, featuring artwork "Guts" by Gaby D'Alessandro (a split torso with guts spilling out in muted browns, greens, and reds)

ROOM 45.3 AUDACITY
Edited by Molly Cross-Blanchard
Assistant Edited by Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros
Shadow edited by Ellen Chang-Richardson and Michelle Ha

In This Issue: Gwen Aube, Georgina Berbari, Brandi Bird, Alex Maeve Campbell, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Megan Cole, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Kayla Czaga, Gaby D’Alessandro, Petranella Daviel, Kate Finegan, Marlowe Granados, Hannah Green, Michelle Ha, Kendra Heinz, Eileen Mary Holowka, Barbara Hranilovich, nic lachance, Isabella Laird, Angélique Lalonde, Elene Lam, Khando Langri, Tin Lorica, Merkat, Mridula Morgan, Em Norton, Moses Ojo, Sandy Pool, Maezy Reign, Josephine Sarvaas, Sarah Totton, Preeti Vangani, Christine Wu, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Eugenia Zuroski

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