Queen of any world that took me – Michigan Quarterly Review

Queen of any world that took me

Summer 2022 | Lauren Eggert-Crowe Reads "Queen of Any World That Took Me" MQR Sound

Lauren Eggert-Crowe reads her poem, "Queen of any world that took me," for MQR's Summer 2022 issue.
By the time he arrived, night 
had lengthened by a whole

minute. Near the close of pomegranate
season, all that had ripened in the heat

now smoldered in another heat.
I knew exactly what kind of winter 

I was inviting in when his mouth
met my own, when I tasted black

pepper, chlorine, mint, ash. 
The warmth lingered like a dry red. 

I knew that bite would hold me
there in the humming dark.

He touched me as a swan touches thick 
water: velvet on silk. So I slackened,

I tumbled deeper in sweet. But my word 
is forward. My mother is waiting. I am 

my mother and I wait for my unroping. 
So few know the trick, how to split 

the heart in ice water, let 
arils spill cleanly, skim the sponge

off the heavy treasure. How red and wet 
I look to the boys with their amps 

and sweaty denim. Who hasn’t
ignored the gods for a plate

of cut fruit, jewel-packed 
and glowing like a lamp? I did 

what any daughter would do: I managed
opposing promises and halved the year

with a cold knife. I created more 
of myself. That didn’t keep anyone

from blaming me for the weather. 
You try learning the thievery of 

your body kick-started the calendar.
Then you, too, might offer yourself to 

be sliced by the teeth on an iron gate. 
You would dive and surface, a needle

sewing your home to his until neither
is yours. You would even unbraid 

the flaxen sheaves of your girlhood
at the lip of a continent aching

to combust, crumble, and melt.
If my throat is an altar, everything 

I swallow is sacred. Ask me 
to regret that handful of garnets.

For more from the Summer 2022 issue of MQR, you can purchase the issue here.

Image credit Nicole Thumult

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