Amy Beeder’s Leviathan reminds us that some of our most powerful enemies find their source in daily routine. In the poem, the speaker’s aging father suffers a fall, forcing him into assisted living. The fall portends the speaker’s uneasy relationship with their own ability– “Can
I know it’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time before the dogs. We didn’t know what they could do. We didn’t know that a dog barking up in Washington, D.C. could feel the round clicking into a chamber in Austin.
I think of my grandmother whenever I delight over rotting corpses and the life cycle of maggots, when I research methods of picking locks, escaping from car trunks, or working myself loose when I am tied to a chair and someone is trying to pull my teeth out with pliers. I think of her when I see unmarked vans with suspicious drivers. I think of her in dark alleys, or when I read news stories of cat murders.
It starts with hunger. Eating with your eyes.
What else we can consume. Digest the news.
The waiting room, abjection seen in flashes.
“They cut off my mother’s breast at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and from the lobby, we watch the low-res screen in the waiting room, color-coded for which stage of surgery she is currently in.”