2 Prose Poems


Playing out below me, O brave new world. Fog and Scotland drift. I’m awake and watch my
fellow passengers sip on orange pulp, peel the foil further back and hold the cups to their faces.
Such tenderness in those sleeping still. The Loch Ness monster floats, surprised by the rare
colors flickering on her eyelids. The plane hovers and, for fun, the pilot dips and circles through
this blue festival. Down there are humans, bits of sunsets, beautiful cars and jetties and signals.
Lochs unlock and water rushes in. The copper funnels of stale air smell like the sea—smell
brackish like an oyster like a shell. We are the pearls. Free to move about the cabin. Who wants
to be the setting or the flaking rubies? We are free to move about. No more pretending to love
the cold. Be naked on a desert and photosynthesize the sun.

Free to move about, I swim with shining salmon. A blue heron backs off with surprise and the fly
fisherman, astonished to see a beautiful woman swimming in his stream, kicks his waders off
and runs for home. I strip my dress off in the ecstatic froth and swim, each stroke of my arms

I am. I am. I am.

*Content Warning: Abuse*


It wasn’t when he spat on me. It wasn’t when he snapped his belt. It wasn’t when he called me a
dowdy bitch. It wasn’t when he hid the sweets in his office. It wasn’t when he told me I would
die before him. Not when he stamped on my bare feet for being clumsy.  But after months of not
doing anything but reading a Bible and confessing thirty years of lassitude, my husband scared
me. He said when you scorn Christ, I imagine you on the ground with your teeth bleeding and
your hair torn. I went to bed grateful that I wasn’t afraid to sink into sleep which was how I
realized yes, I had been afraid all that time. It was my skin my ring my spit my air my blood my
ground my gums my house my sound machine my bannisters my wingback chairs that took wing
my daughter my God.

MK Aisenberg

MK Aisenberg's first book of poetry, The Ether Dome is forthcoming from Main Street Rag in Fall, 2024. The title poem was awarded the James Hearst Award by Ilya Kaminsky and the book is focused on the theme of women and madness. Her poems have appeared variously in Agni Review, Carve, and Partisan Review. She lives in Somerville MA and works in Cambridge MA as a clinical psychologist.

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