With a Destructive Obsession

Sara Daniele Rivera

           El aislamiento se instaló como la condición más común o más normal en nuestras vidas.

           Recuerdo, con una obsesión destructiva …

          — Diamela Eltit

Receding, subordinating, I shifted

           into some corner of my brain

on a bed with the person who required

           I become that doll version of myself

in myself. [Exhale: I’ve placated them

           enough to avoid a fight.]

I like my shrunken

ascetic space.   I become

a vitreous rod, my profile


Last week I said to you

           I used to eat twelve raw almonds for lunch   and you said

                                        in a day you’d eat only an apple.

Reflex-pressure. The texture of our smallness

           is shredded. In Eltit’s Impuesto a la carne

a shriveled body exists in another, the mother inside

shrunken as if by internalized erosion. A cavern inside the body

           builds its own wind patterns. A wound can eat me in reverse.


about the author