Seven Poems
Amanda Auerbach

The Eve Virus

Looks like sugar.
Let it enter.
You are not sugar.
Your shell falls off.

You are a string.
You get too big.
You cannot fit.
I cannot fit?

You make me carry.
You make me more.
I carry all.
We both fit well.

You stay in me?
I stay with you.
This is our life.
You make me more?

I am unwell.
I make a shell.
I make another.
Then they are strings.

I do not fit.
The shells are you.
You cut the membrane.
I’ll let you out.


This is

Let there be light.
Let there be forms.
I make the woods.
Let woods make woods.

Let creeks wind through
Let rocks break ground.
They need no lakes.
They need no pinks.

Three things are all
I need to make
Each one is good?
Each one makes beings.

Let these see all
as being good.
I shall make them
not see further.

If they seek more
They will not live.
Let them not seek
What we don’t make.

You may make pinks.
The wood will fruit.
The light will help
The creeks reveal

What you can see.
What can you see
That you should seek
And nothing more?

What you can make
Is something else.



Pretend that this is where we live.
Pretend that we are all the soul.
We have no feet but only moss.
Pretend there are walls.
There are walls.
All we know is all
at once and all we want is what
can hold.

We are within the walls.
The arms and the beds that will hold us dead.
We are the bodies that bring us.
We are the water that feeds us.
The water feeds us bread.
There is no bread that is not the full body.
The body the brain.
The brain the words.

We are within the water?
We cannot hear what we are within.
Is the body within the brain apart from the body?
Is the brain within the words apart from the brain?
If so the body in the water is apart from the body.
And so the body and so the water the soul.



You are my help.
Watch the bag down
Watch it go through
Check ribbon: green.

Grip the handle.
You approach me.
You leave your place.
Hold out your hand.

Grasp your zip-down.
Stroke its impress.
I walk by you.
I walk in front.

You check the bag.
I sift inside.
You zip the bag.
Is it still there.

I lead the bag.
I part the doors.
I walk right through.
I help it work.


Hospice Visit

You are my help
I lie in bed.
You leave the room.
You come back in.

You wear a fresh dress.
I raise my head.
I smile at you.
You go back home.

You come back in.
You have a bag.
You take out box.
You pull out pie.

You cut a piece.
You hold it up.
You say, remember.
The kind you like.

I can not eat.
I close my mouth.
I smile at you.
You say, remember.

You want ice cream.
You get a nurse.
She will not feed.
She makes you help.

You lift the sheet.
You show the nurse.
Those are my legs.
I want to eat.

You wrap the knife.
Put it away.
You go back home.
You come again.

Your body is clean.
You make me look.
I smile at you.
This is your work.


Apollo to Daphne

You are little.
Thank you for saying.
I try to speak.
I know what you say.

I know what I do.
I am a body.
It is restless.
It runs away.

You make me stop.
You look at me.
I look at it.
It runs away.

You slow me down.
You make me say.
I will not look.
You will not stop.

I cannot stop.
It helps me do.
I try to speak.
I move too much.

I call you back.
I try to speak.
You can’t keep up
I smile at you.

You look away.
I can’t slow down.
I do not know
What I will say.



The girl has nothing but what
she makes: a perfect red dress the story goes.
Then she discovers several.
Indifferently the story says.
The girl who has everything now has nothing but
what she makes.
What she makes is
still the red dress.
She keeps the old
shoes that were
not hers but yours.
The meaningful shoes
that keep her feet over
the earth she never
comes down to
this keeps her poor
it keeps her stuck
in the red dress
while the sky stays
up the sky stays
it never comes down
or forms in clouds
or makes any rain
she drinks only the wine
from the ancestral
store in the goblet
in which it fits.
It does not hold
enough it can never
hold what she is
and yet she can never
add to her store
can never take
what would drain
her of her name
or of the wine
or even of her.

Amanda Auerbach is a PhD candidate at Harvard where she is writing about getting lost in the novel. Her poetry recently appeared in the spring issue of The Colorado Review.