Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir, Without: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2010), selected for the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series, Small Fires; Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature, Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2013), winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series, and the forthcoming Tremolo: An Essay (Bloom Press, 2013), winner of the Bloom Nonfiction Chapbook Prize. Wade is the newest member of the creative writing faculty at Florida International University in Miami.
ARTHUR DIMMESDALE, ALONE IN THE CLOSET WITH A BLOODY SCOURGE
I remember when all I wanted was to fuck: the urge curdling every cultivated propriety.
I had not so much as sniffed a woman, never tippled in the terrible, tender places her clothes concealed: damp armpits sprouting with hairs, ankle-bones, shoulder-bones bewitching.
And the grease of the thighs at the point where they come together—delta of heat, of fragrant fire.
When she said yes, a soft almost inaudible permission; when she lay back & spread herself to the place I should enter, it was Satan himself offering to Christ the temple—whole world in exchange for a prayer.
If you will only bow down & worship me.
I felt the Serpent himself attending: tongue piercing groin, dust filling belly, that hunger that is like no other seizing hold of my (once-iron) will.
In that moment, my eyes opened to the darkest of pleasures, which turned to the deepest of pains. How she was silent, how complicit /unflinching—how bold in the face of her sin.
A woman is a grave, my father warned me.
I walk dead before God & men.
* * *
* * *
“EXTINCTION OF USELESS LIGHTS”
Artist: Yves Tanguy
1927, 92 X 65 cm, Oil on Canvas
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Perhaps it is war-time, & Riding Hood has been besieged by birds.
I cannot promise you anything but doves.
Like those scattering the walkways in Honolulu.
Or gold pelicans skirting the long Orlando highway.
A lightning-bolt strikes under your cursor.
Smoke from a chimney that hasn’t felt fire in years.
What to make of the inquiry now, the insinuation?
A kettle teeming with kippers & other assorted fish.
Slow gradient of gray, ascending.
The unkempt woman ragged in the wind.
Pastiche is just a softer word for paranoia.
The Wolf acquires another county seat.