Autumn Royal creates drama, poetry, and criticism. Autumn is the interviews editor for Cordite Poetry Review, and author of the poetry collections She Woke & Rose (Cordite Books, 2016) and Liquidation (Incendium Radical Library, 2019). Her third collection of poetry, The Drama Student, is forthcoming with Giramondo Publishing.

Somewhat of a loss, after Amy Lowell’s ‘The Broken Fountain’

‘God made me a business woman’ — Amy Lowell

Oblong, its jutted ends round into the stained basin
fixed against the bathroom walls of the flat I’m contracted
to, built approximately in 1968. It’s currently 2021 —
a disposable training pad for my puppy is placed
beneath the sink. I can’t afford a patch of green
for her soils — a backyard as it’s commonly known.
My stagnant water is not in a pond or a broken fountain,
but in the toilet bowl — and yet I care, I do care, or I try
to care in opportunities for horizontal reflections
as I sponge the bathrooms owned by people who pay
me to care for their children, like my own mother,
this mirroring revises my chances to have already had
the baby I was told I would have, and how could I ever
afford someone like myself to care in the way that I do.
My desire trails purple and red fuchsias dripping
from marble urns, the heavenly highs and lows of a spout.

Raising a subject

It’s time to dress your body in this unrevised
final draft. My mind is full of hollows and Valarie
Solanas’ voice — I’m a writer not an actress.
One must become perverse when adapting
to this genre. I’ve flattened myself to fit through
scripted doorways & babbled away my dimensions.
This series leaves no suspense.
We’re dealing with pre-existing material
and I’ve forgotten who speaks next. I need a prompt —