Two Poems

by Katie Schmid

The Spouse

The one whose cubbyhole—whose rodent burrow—nears your own. The spouse scatters when the light is flipped. The spouse requires darkness and a little nest fluff—that’s all. It’s true: the spouse can be a pest. Spouses have overrun the neighborhood. The neighborhood watch will outline a plan to eliminate spouses at the next neighborhood association meeting. Attendance to the meeting discussing spousal extermination is mandatory. You will be required to pay for the removal of your own spouse infestation. Consider a bake sale, a Patreon account, a Kickstarter. There are many modern ways for an intrepid, thrifty homeowner to raise money for spouse removal. Remember that spouses look small and idiotic, but their deviant skills are vast. They breed in such numbers! How to recognize a spouse: it is a strange object covered in fur that breaks your heart.1 It is a houseguest you found charming who now refuses to leave. You may have unknowingly cuddled the spouse; check yourself for infection. A spouse is a technology of rubbing that becomes a habit. In the daytime, the spouse goes back to wherever it does its diurnal business. It’s almost too disgusting to be believed. Nothing that has ever been clean has been a spouse.
Portrait of Womb, Mixed Media

29-year-old womb as little sleeping bag & wolf-

at-door; as ocean cave with soft anemone; no,

as shuddery song of an unseen whale,

you know it lives, not where and how.

Womb as dance hall and everyone’s left

but the drunk piano man who weeps into

his beer, rallies a little, tries to plink out a tune.

Inept womb, limping limply. Womb as headline:


SINGLE CRAPPY LITTLE HAND. Womb as businessman,

examining himself for quarterly returns.

Womb as hard-boiled egg, peeled: small moon

of a thin fingernail to remove the shell and silk

membrane, sulfurous release, gelatin wet whites

and the fur and velvet of yolk unyolked. Consumed.

Womb as death-of-dream; as birth of death;

as crabgrass chewed into evil milk

and a little hiccup to help it down.

Self-portrait of womb as answered question.

Self-portrait of womb with baby as gun.

1. from Donald Barthelme Come Back, Dr. Caligari


Katie Schmid lives in Nebraska, where she is currently pursuing her PhD. Her chapbook, Forget Me, Hit Me, Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor, is available from Split Lip Press. She is on The Twitter @kt_schmid.