Mag Gabbert


I cannot make lunch today 
I need a tissue 
I cannot go to the store 
I cannot walk the dogs 
I am drained 
look at me 
I am bloodless 
I am silver 
I need a tissue 
I cannot go to the show tonight 
I cannot wear a sequined dress 
I cannot slink across the floor 
I cannot drop like coins from a purse 
I cannot scatter brightly 
I cannot drop off the dry cleaning 
or go to the meeting 
or meet up for coffee 
I cannot change 
I cannot make change 
I need a tissue 
I need a tissue 
I need a tissue 
they are coming out 
like scarves 
and then doves



I’m eating one 
Again even though I hate to 
Some days I eat nothing 
Others I eat fish 
Or I eat six 
Donuts at once

Later on I’ll heave 
Clutch the counter 
And the tub 
Hands still glistening hot 
Sticky and I’ll want

To empty but not 
Be able to my belly 
My throat will sink 
Into frosted white dreams 
My face sunk in the porcelain 
Hole sprinkled ring 

My body’s a tempest 
And I Prospero all weakness 
All show come on come in 
Look there’s nothing 
No broken drowned woman 
All spirits all melted
Into air into thin
Or trying to

We’re the same I think 
Donuts and me 
Complete not complete 
Like the baseless fabric of this vision
Of my body 
Ye all which we inherit shall

Of course this is a song 
About circularity about filling 
And being fulfilled by things 
Crimson jelly lemon cream 
We are such stuff

As a body that consumes 
Its own body a snake 
For years just by digesting 
Its own heart 
I digest my own 
I consume but don’t

Know why I still feel empty 
Why inside me every 
Hollow thing sings


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Mag Gabbert is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at Texas Tech University, and she previously received an MFA from The University of California at Riverside. Her essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in journals including 32 PoemsCarve MagazineThe RumpusThe Nervous BreakdownPhoebeSugar House Review, and Birmingham Poetry Review, among other venues. Mag also serves as an associate editor for Iron Horse Literary Review. For more information, please visit