What would you have of me by A. Marie Kaluza

Illustration by Christophe Andre
Illustration by Christophe Andre

If I am to open, as you would say, I cannot halt the visions
of violent beginnings,

birth and death,
first sex that peels me like a fruit.
Plugging in a machine, unplugging a machine,
splitting the atom,

running out of breath.

The window that refuses to unlatch. The door
I cannot find the handle, the last time
I saw my mother, my father, the last time I saw
a man shot he was

opened, spilling out of himself, not the way I spill out of
jeans, tank tops, panties, I open these legs

to engage and release, burden myself and be reprieved.

I open bottles, I open drawers, I open
my mouth to utter the words the therapist says will

open me.

A trunk, whose air has grown musty,
ripe with stagnancy, sealed off from time needs be
lifted, that lid, removed from its soft bed and left to hinge
on hopes that squeak.

But here, you say I should open.

So give me your hands.

About the Author

A. Marie Kaluza

“How the fragmented past becomes one memory upon reflection.”

A. Marie Kaluza hails from the USA, lives in Seattle, WA. Her poems have appeared in Lunaris Review, The Blue Nib, Ampersand Lit, Slink Chunk Press, and Streetcake Mag, the most recent volume of the LTA Written Word Series, When Time and Space Conspire, and has an upcoming publication in the Fall/Winter issue of The Stray Branch. She likes social science, Medieval Bestiaries, and puzzles. She dislikes smog, people thinking kelp is a meal, and writing bios.

About the Illustrator


You can check Christophe’s amazing art on Instagram.

What would you have of me is one of the many amazing poems from the upcoming edition of the literary collection The Machinery.

Feel free to share the poem on Social Media or let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

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