Nina Corwin

Inhabitants of the Cusp

Conceived under a whore’s moon, no doors
on our seventh house, we wear our bodies uneasily
as if our skins shrunk in the drying cycle,
walk both sides of yellow lines
or sit at the edges of chairs, one tooth loose,
the new one pushing close behind.
We whistle out of both sides of our mouths –
unable to escape the idea that point is only part
of counterpoint. That things are rarely either here
or there, but live in both places at once
like the nose on a Picasso face.
I get restless in the presence of those
who think borders are drawn in indelible ink.
Carrying a leaky chalice and a diaspora at my back,
it is only in the margins and borderlands
that I can take off my shoes.
Washed up on the cusp of one thing
or another, I walk with one foot in Aries
while the other lags behind
in Pisces. Being a middle child with two left feet
to boot, sometimes I’ve wondered if I was born
under any sign at all.
Modern transits into Post-Modern
and the composer feels old fashioned.
The writer has an identity crisis.
The sculptor takes another chisel in midstream.
I am forever awaiting the moment
when the gravity switches off and all those things
we like to count on being anchored: frying pans, mailboxes,
the coffee out of cups and then the cups themselves
float silently into the air.
A fly ball arcs into the summer sky.
Loses itself in a Post-industrial sun.
Neither here nor there.
It is in that place we find ourselves.

Nina Corwin
“Inhabitants of the Cusp” first appeared in The Evansville Review, vol 14, Spring 2004.