Chosen by renowned poet Carolyn Forché as a finalist for the 1993 AWP Award Series in Poetry, Bruise Theory is Natalie Kenvin's debut poetry collection. Compact and powerful, her poems fly like small fists. Here are poems that address emotional illness, mother-daughter relationships, friendship and erotic love, physical abuse and the strength it takes to endure. These poems reveal Kenvin's extraordinary sympathy for her subjects—from her daughter in the throes of emotional illness to the bold figure of the character Sweetie.
Meat and Memory
When my father receded, I became small
Like a stain, an apostrophe of blood.
Now I long to be darkly full.
I want to get back to his marrow and root.
In the market I stare at packets of meat,
Blood loose beneath the cellophane,
Sap from a sticky wound.
Portions are mapped on the side of a cow
As though they were countries,
The ruby geography of grist and bone.
I miss him,
But all is altered inside.
I hear my death in the drying of blood,
The smell of meat and memory.
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 1995