I Admit That While You Are Gone

Photo: © Stefan Hengst. All rights reserved.

from the house or sleeping, I picture you dead,
pulled clean from the seam of our linen
lives of moons and tulips, into the tender
groves of distant greedy night. Each time,

you disappear into the most unreachable
stillness I can imagine. My heart, a bug-eyed
chimney of belching smoke, lurches along
the violent sea of 5 o’clock rush

hour. Without you, spirits wail,
a tempest of arms strangles
necks inside the yellow geography
of our shifting metric. Love,

your voice, so urgent, seizes me—
the vast, shuddering ecstasy,
the melody of your strange
fingers on my back. The clock strikes 11,

my spine twitches, a bird released from a branch
of snow. Your head in my hands, the gentle
sleeping of the waiting world. There can be
nothing but this.

Terri Muuss reads “I Admit That While You Are Gone”

From Cagibi Issue 1: Four Poems by Terri Muuss


Terri Muuss.jpegTerri Muuss is a multi-career tour de force who balances a full-time social work gig with directing shows, writing books, speaking at conferences and colleges, running a private practice, performing her one-woman show, teaching writing workshops and curating a popular poetry series with her husband, author Matt Pasca. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Atticus Review, Paterson Literary Review, Stirring, University of Indiana Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Luna Luna Magazine and Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, and her first book, Over Exposed (2013), was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2015, Terri began curating Second Saturdays @Cyrus and, in 2016, co-edited an anthology of New York women poets entitled Grabbing the Apple. After years spent working the stages of New York City, Vermont and Dublin, Terri has also performed her one-woman show, Anatomy of a Doll—named “Best Theatre: Critics’ Pick of the Week” by the New York Post—around the United States and Canada since 1998, and directed countless Off-Off-Broadway productions. As a motivational speaker, artist and social worker, Muuss keynotes and runs workshops at conferences, colleges and high schools across the nation. Her second book, God’s Spine, is forthcoming. www.terrimuuss.com

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