Please Don't Touch the Art
What a sound I’ve made becoming someone
who wants to find her way back. Increasingly
I’m someone who wants poets to cite
their sources, how they do it in visual art.
I—gnawed bone, copper rod, shape
for swallowing—have been variously.
For a time being from there I was in a city
of sights and souvenirs, learned quick
that limits meant mist, festivals of light.
I’m not being figurative. At the border
there were waterfalls, electric plants,
tightrope walkers going from one public
to another and below them I in a gorge
actually named for the devil. Circumference
along a crease. You got used to it.
For a price there were things to bring back.
I bought time there looking up
at hard acts to follow, learning what it takes
out on a voice, how it makes it slip.
I’m good with saying something about money
because it’s there. It’s here
because it makes me so emotional.
In fact I feel positively lyric about it.
I was angry in a practical way. I mean it.
I was practically angry having gone from one
something to another but this is my stop.
The difference between us and there is one
is I don’t need to touch the art.
Rachelle Toarmino is a poet from Niagara Falls, New York. She is the author of the poetry collection That Ex and several chapbooks. She earned her MFA in poetry at UMass Amherst, where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is also the founding editor in chief of Peach Mag, an independent literary publishing project, as well as the founder and lead instructor behind Beauty School, a new independent poetry school. She lives in Buffalo.