Physical Therapy Gym, Neuroscience Center


God? you’re good at taking me as I am? Then
take me this way: craven, pusillanimous,
chickenshit. Teeth gritted, fists tight against the
wrack of the body.

Wrench me back from whipping around to stare when
someone keens I can’t do it any longer,
take me home, I want to go home. From hearing
sobbing and chest-heave

gasps. Don’t let me see. Let me see instead how
every other head in this hall of mirrors
sets itself like marble, tilting to face its
torturer, smiling.

Maryann Corbett is the author of four books of poetry. Her work has won the Richard Wilbur Book Award and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and has been published in venues like Southwest Review, Barrow Street, Rattle, River Styx, Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, Measure, Literary Imagination, The Dark Horse, Subtropics, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, American Life in Poetry, and The Poetry Foundation, and in an assortment of anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2018.

First published in Measure Review