A dark and diazepam night,
when wake-time's saxatile,
crawling out from under the rock
and roll of an old picture show.
I read from Dali's secret life,
the childhood part about bestial women,
as manically absurd
as a re-run of badgers roaring matriarchal,
gnawing on the bones of my obedience.
Yes, the babushkas,
a clutch of beet-boiling dumpling-beaters,
their sauerkraut sweat and fruitcake disapproval,
serving shame, my every tick watched, stopped,
congealed like stinky cheese in the clockarium of my brain,
beasts whose DNA I bear, whose garnets I wear--
the persistence of memory
preying on my pillow like a mantis alive and busy.
Pamela Ahlen is currently program coordinator for Bookstock (Woodstock, Vermont), one of three Vermont literary festivals. She organizes literary readings for Osher (Lifelong Education at Dartmouth). Pam received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems have most recently appeared in About (Black Earth Institute), Bohemia, The Sow's Ear, and The Comstock Review. She is the author of the chapbook, Gather Every Little Thing (Finishing Line Press).