Two poems by Dara Cerv


Sunday Bath Exercise

The dull kitchen knife is the heaviest thing
I’ll ever hold
It drags me toward
The center of the Earth
Each slice
A purgatorial ring
Use the bath as a way to
Stage a drama
I feel death’s film on me
I batter-ram each day
The bathtub is a portal
On the other side I own a home
I stick all my fingers in all
The holes of a rotary phone
A dog licks my knees
While I eat chicken wings
With a husband
This is a drama without risk
What if I told you
All that waits on the other side
Is what’s under
The washcloth that floats
Above my thighs




Sunday Bath Exercise
–after Oliver Laric

An axe that has had its head
Replaced four times
And its handle five times
Ceases being a trustworthy axe
Revise axe
A misshapen axe with no replacements
This is the body
Underwater the body
Takes the shape of an axe
Or at least acts misshapen
Refraction likens us
To our modern art selves
In the bath I stood
Gathering water in my arms
All right it was the shower
I put the shower on while the tub was still full
Make yourself a fountain of youth
Make yourself the ladle
That brings the world to their lips




Dara Cerv lives and writes in Jamaica Plain, MA. She received an MFA from Emerson College and is currently doing graduate level work in mental health counseling. Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in Sixth Finch and The Volta.


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