Cindy Hochman

Inner Life (With Sabotage)

This poem will be intentionally vague. Candle wicks flicker. Chemicals misfire. Crossed wires refuse to untangle. Sometimes I slip into something less comfortable. Carousel horses and streetlights make me weep deeply. My handsome father’s death has turned into stilted breath. My benevolent brother’s death is still caught in my throat. Everyone gives me flowers to fill the fissure between limbs and loss. And I bury them under layers of, what? Nothing but my own undoing. A startled and startling voice tells me to go even deeper than this. Onyx and obsidian wrestle it out with a chest full of white diamonds. Frankly, my dear, I’ve had enough of dancing through the murk with my not-so-better angels. Excuse me while I remove this battering ram from my solar plexus. Let me open my palms to the hazy sunshine. I promise I will stop shaking soon.

Cindy Hochman is the president of "100 Proof" Copyediting Services and the editor-in-chief of the online poetry journal First Literary Review-East. She is on the book review staff of Pedestal Magazine and has written reviews for American Book Review and many others. Her latest chapbook is The Number 5 Is Always Suspect (Presa Press), a collaborative series of poems with poet/collagist Bob Heman.