Two poems by Sarah V. Schweig
THE INFINITE NETWORK OF DOORS
Let me tell you about the Infinite Network of Doors.
All day, in the Infinite Network of Doors, I was busy lying to myself
about myself, in addition to my commitments lying to others.
This was my job… I worked my way up… I climbed my way up…
Meanwhile, the Lovely Hen slept and shifted in my arms.
There was something of squandering involved, something of
BLANK… I just want to do the work I have to do so as to do the work
I don’t, I said to the hen I held, habitually, in my arms.
One day, the hen said, I just want to do the work I have to do
so as to do the work I don’t. I didn’t know what this meant,
so I released the hen gently from my arms. She stood in the Infinite
Network a moment, before climbing back in. There, there. I said.
DOCTRINE OF THE MASK
One cannot know the DOCTRINE OF THE MASK!
One cannot teach the DOCTRINE OF THE MASK!
In the temporary plaza is Everyone, taking turns
inflicting harm on each other, inflicting hurt, inflicting, inflicting––
But when the Injured Thing lay its tearful head––
when it lay its sorry, tearful head in my lap––
there was no such thing anymore as a DOCTRINE.
I repeat: There was no longer any such thing as a MASK.
We must protect each other from each other.
I repeat: The Injured Thing lay its head on my lap.
That’s how we know what it means to mean something
explained the Injured Thing, looking up at me. No one gets out unscathed.
Sarah V. Schweig’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB Magazine, Boston Review, HTML Giant, The Philadelphia Review of Books, Slice, Verse Daily, The Volta, and West Branch, among others.