Vanessa Gabb


you brought to me

the word marriage

and I asked what that meant

if its history meant

I was unfree

how found could we be

I wanted you to know

I want to be

a woman

I wanted you to know

I have always been

preoccupied by this

though you were

not and so were we

doomed to know

each other well

enough to say goodbye?

or maybe

we came to know

nothing about each other

not even how

to say yes

just as I will

sense my own fear

with strange men

the way the world works

its terror so

that I will

know you

suddenly in them

the contradictions live

in us

in cellular form

I am not entirely


a place to live

yesterday I fed

our cats then lay

back in your bed

I imagined

falling asleep

if you had

found me

waiting to be discovered

because I want to be



I have told you far more

now than ever then

about passion


the first form of rapture


by the poets

of the Middle Ages

writing about knights

lying beside wives

of other men

it is a long way to this

I have

I am here

a winter

of me and me

Vanessa Gabb is the author of Images for Radical Politics, which was the Editor's Pick for the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in fall 2016. She is from and lives in Brooklyn, NY.