In a State of Intoxication

Sandra Beasley

The navel corresponds to the omphalos.
A corner corresponds to a right angle.
A spoon corresponds against its bowl—
curve to curve, an efficiency of emptying.
When the ax hits an inconvenient sapling,
the wound corresponds to the strike.
When I say I wish to correspond with you,
what I mean is I want to bite your tongue
across these many miles. I was careful.
Careful did not serve me. Can the foot
correspond with a tightrope? One always
hoping to outdo the other. For a year,
a black speck has floated on my right eye.
It corresponds to nothing. It is and is.
It reminds me that what I see does not
correspond to what I touch. Not anymore.

Sandra Beasley carries a flask, likes to dance, and perpetually has somewhere she should have been twenty minutes ago. She is the author of I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton, 2010), winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008). Her most recent book is Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Crown, 2011), a memoir and cultural history of food allergy. (Luckily she is not allergic to scotch.) She lives in Washington, DC.

“ ‘In a State of Intoxication’ ” appears in our Winter 2013 issue.