VIRGINIA WOOLF WALKS INTO MY APARTMENT By Linette Reeman

VIRGINIA WOOLF WALKS INTO MY APARTMENT

On March 28, 1941,
Virginia Woolf walks into the River Ouse
after filling her overcoat pockets with stones.

On the same day in 1996,
I am born and everyone is surprised.
I am born and when I am old enough to have eyes
my mother will show me where on her body
I was once only a wound and she will flinch
against my palm when I touch this place
and I will know how home can feel of
phantom-limb. So I am born and I spend
the rest of my life thus far researching how to die.

If Virginia Woolf’s body works the same way
the standard medically-observed
human body works, it takes about three minutes
for her to drown. But say Virginia held
her breath at first and then let it out all slow like
if she shrugged off the rock-weight she could
swim back home without even inhaling again
and then say Virginia knew how long it took for
a person to die and she dragged it out
for as long as she could / all 59 years / of her heart
giving out. say she knew her body not standard and
tried to normal it anyway. say she was so surprised that
it held for this length that she kept
inhaling / on accident /

There are no Google search results for
“did+Virginia+Woolf+know+how+to+swim?”
but there are over 30,400,000 Google search results for
“how+long+does+drowning+take?”

Virginia Woolf walks out of a Google search on
methods of clean suicide and I am not surprised

Virginia Woolf walks into this womb-return
after filling her lungs with practice

Virginia Woolf walks into my apartment
and asks me why I am still crying like shouldn’t I
be used to breathing? and hands me her weight and
in 2016, my mother asks me what
I want for my twentieth birthday
and I have forgotten how to holiday existence
so I tell her that I am a pretty good swimmer
but I own an overcoat and /

By Linette Reeman

Biography:

Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is a poet from the Jersey Shore who is currently pursuing a B.A. in history from Rowan University. Linette has represented Loser Slam (Red Bank, NJ) at multiple national and regional slams and this is their second year representing Rowan at the college national slam (CUPSI). They have featured at the Philadelphia Fuze Slam and for D.C. Trans Power, have been published by places like Words Dance and Voicemail Poems, and probably want to high five you.

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