Cate Lycurgus

Self-Indictment, with Arrhythmia

Double dutch of my
                                  heart                    the black top’s
no place                                     to slap yourself,       slack
      you won’t scale the veins’            chain-
            link fence,    win against asphalt, or      halter-
jerk rope yourself           to       some transcendence.
           Your fault,            your falter-
                      start fissure will crack                 every
           mother’s back               vertebrae worry,    way you
race     my precarious               staircase of ribs,
            training                  to cranium,  inverting sky,
                       mistaking lights
            sugar-shook     down through the streets,
for beacons—you drop—           I can’t lie,            stubborn muscle,
                    I tire, I try, have tried
                talking you down                    from beat     -down up-     lifting
to rally       from flat line,    peaks valleys a side-walk        of rhyme
                          won’t resolve, dissolved
             out through the skinned        knees will tell you
how wipe out is no
            out, so pant through this block
through this blockage age            age old, your hold-on
                    through chambers    come, seize now, lay siege to all doubt
                                       slung through the lungs,        pound
the inadequate           chord into song           let’s go,       turn on
                glamorous,          even, your regular beat,
                                            a constant skirt flouncing
       you little flirt, trouble pump   somehow I’m lassoed
and double clutch stuck, you are mine and I want you,
                    nine ounces of hurt

Cate Lycurgus received her MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she served as poetry editor for Indiana Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Best New Poets 2012, and elsewhere.