Sarah Natalie Webster



all vision, our vision
everything that’s envisioned
all tunneled through
the narrow shaft
of I

I, I, I,

pierced like carousel horses
our thoughts ride
around its pole

I, I, I,

chipped, wild-mouthed


the moon skates silver
on train tracks beside us
and the sun skims the water
to land at our feet

we are Narcissus
seeing only ourselves
in all surface,

we are Pokemon
pronouncing only our name
in all conversations,


the human figure is also an i,
straight shank and nodding dot of grey

and does it

I will become a W and an E,
or would you wrestle me?
and bend me
into U?


The Romans numeralized I
and decorated clocks with it

with I’s for hands
clocks tick like a heart

I, I, I,

I want my I’s to clatter
like a house of cards

I want my I’s to scatter
like a pile of pick-up-sticks

I want my I’s to ruin,
like Rome


I think therefore,
I IV I & I IV..



* Qo (quaestio) is the original notation for a question which eventually evolved into the question mark with the Q cut into the curve, and the O dropped below to form the dot.

He wooed me with wild bouquets of question marks.
By beckoning stems I was lured and tugged
toward the wide arcs of his mind,
the subtle question of his spine,
the touch of his nicotine hands.

On an island a hemisphere away
my waist stayed encircled by his shepherd’s crook.
(The one he used to pull me down the rabbit hole that summer).
So I got curiouser and curiouser, kept at arm’s length
trapped inside a cool metal question.

At times I grew tired of the instrument,
of the scythe, of the half-moon metal bracket.

But I knew I didn’t have to stay within its query.
I knew I could step out, pluck out all the jewelry he sent,
and tend to my body
pierced and snagged like a fish.

But I didn’t want to leave the interrogative arc, the curious crescent.
I wanted to make my way up the handle of the crook and grasp his hand.
I wanted to push my fingers into the wet-warmth of his enquiring mouth,
I wanted to bite the skin of his equivocal lips, count the ribs
punctuating his chest, follow the line of hair descending
below his hips..

The calendar on the wall shed paper months
till I couldn’t stand the question anymore.
So I sold furniture, packed bags, boarded planes,
flew to Los Angeles.

But when I arrived, he didn’t give me any answers.
Instead, he handed me more garlands of Q’s cut to curves,
more opaque subscripted O’s,

more bouquets of the wild questions
that hang like Christmas baubles,
from every branch,
every finger,



By Sarah Natalie Webster

seems unable to finish a sentence which begins with her full name, and has decided in general not to comment, except to say that she was born in Auckland, NZ, and is currently living in San Francisco. Her work appears in Minarets, and Quiet Lightning (USA). For the customary biographical quirk; her boyfriend would to add that she drives like a spy.