Nancy Mitchell

Why I’m Here | Unbearable
December 18, 2017 Mitchell Nancy

Why I’m Here


I have no clue-it was weird, yes
but I would say molested but
not abused like the one
here who was raped
repeatedly and caged or that one
chained four hundred days to a radiator…

But, the technicians insist (in laymen
terms) there is always the initial,
primal, if you will, incident after
which the connection to the body
is intrinsically damaged—think
electrical cord, think frayed—
it’s the culmination of subsequent,
less significant incidents that cause
the final, often irreparable, split.

We all here want, hope to be fixed—
but chances of a successful retro-fit
to the body depends
on remembering—
most cases are too far
gone, the damage.





after Milan Kundera


Want to make love
outdoors and eat dark
bread knock out
this wall with a sledge-
hammer and let the night
in sink my arms in warm
mud all the way up
to my elbows swim
in the black river
that runs through the city—
all night, under water.

Nancy Mitchell is a 2012 Pushcart Prize winner and the author of The Near Surround, Grief Hut and the The Out-of- Body Shop. She teaches at Salisbury University in Maryland and serves as Associate Editor of Special Features for Plume. She is the Poet Laureate of the City of Salisbury, Maryland.