Summer 2004


Summer 2004

Amanda J Bradley

Her presence disturbs any scene
She wills it to, striding through the door.
Otherwise she would not be here, outside her rooms.
They either flock or gossip. She is Mae West.
She beats them to the punch,
Coaxes them inside out; they are her fools.
Perhaps late tonight or in the morning light
She will become Medusa.
She desires resistance; they are pliable.
Why can no one guess her fantasy?
I will never tell this secret.
They do not deserve to know.

These are her rooms - all colorful, patterned cloth,
Rich half-burnt candles, meticulously made bed,
Ordered books, black dishes, orange teapot, spiced teas
And potpourris, old photos of despised family.
She says she cannot love. The idea is shocking
Like her hoop earrings, incompatible somehow
With her long hair and large breasts.
She believes in nothing and yet reads Russian
Fortune cards. She ferociously fears death -
Her extinguished individuality,
And yet it means nothing to her - to live, to die.

Her rejection of all abstract comforts
Is a carefully woven quilt that covers me
In the cold crowd of platitudes that surround me.
It is fabricated, but she would point out
That all things are. I like this fabrication.
It is intricate and bold. I want her
Meaninglessness, her cold, mean philosophy.
She has suffered loss. She is a frightened girl.
She takes on the responsibility like a queen
Hiding behind her staff.
She has killed her father
And hidden the body.

Amanda Bradley studied English and Poetry Writing during undergraduateyears at Northwestern University. She is currently on a dissertation fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis in order to complete a PhD in English.



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