Poetry

Foxgirl Cycle Song: 1

Trap her in thorn, and she’ll slip her skin Drown her in water, she’ll learn to swim Burn her, she’ll turn into smoke and wind Think you can catch her? Well, think again Fox demon, foxy face Foxgirls don’t know their place Marry her, bury her Water her bones Set your sons over her Let […]

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Narrative of the Naga’s Heirs

Never read my life As the diary of some sad refugee. My account is not intended As a routine narrative of adversity overcome, “Mere survival” once again, transcending A descent to White–Hot Hell Converted to the Placid Limbo of Frogs. Know I miss the familiar strange here, In a way you cannot fathom. Our hard […]

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The Exquisite Banality of Space

Interstellar space sounds like my finger on a wine glass— whining, high and sharp, a choir we cannot identify. I’ve listened to the recordings. The plasma oscillates around our intrusive satellite and sings a peculiar song. If I ever made it to that frontier would that sound cut into my pink brain like a knife? […]

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tended, tangled, and veined

i. girl. a small word. too small. but girl they called her, and girl she claimed. she practiced her girlhood with heat–stricken hair, sheared nails, scrubbed skin. she baptized herself with fat wrung from beans and battered into butter. she oiled her joints with poise, scented her flesh with propriety, and clothed herself in performance. […]

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Aboard the Transport Tesoro

At three a.m. my ribs ache as if molten iron pools into and over the symbols etched in bone. I cradle these calcium bars that embrace my lungs, my heart, your soul. Please, Bisabuela, sea paciente. Fighting only tightens this curving, gaping cage and wounds us both. Would you salt the valleys of my face? […]

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The Thirteenth Child

If our thirteenth child is a girl, all her twelve brothers must die, so that she may be very rich, and the kingdom hers and hers alone.      from Household Tales, collected by the Brothers Grimm. I never knew their names. Only twelve coffins in one straight line, filling the cold grey crypt. I […]

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The Book of Longing

I promise myself this moment, The stained–glass murmur of angels, the crisp Scent of fresh dreams Turned like furrows in the mind, The green and growing sorrow that lodges Deep in the breast. I taste the memory of you Like an oath on the tongue, like every song Ever wept into the night. Don’t look […]

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Biting Tongues

Speak to us in silk, they say speak to us in milk, be pillow–soft, be satin–smooth be home–spun sugar sweet. We part our lips. We breathe our breaths. We bite our tongues and swallow blood knot stones into our stomachs, heave and spit red salt where words should be, stitch shut our mouths with stubborn […]

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To a Dying Friend

“as old as old is able to be and be there still” Anne Sexton You say, I was so beautiful once but I never knew that ancient beauty only this body like a forest fire like a field of bones its boundaries impossible to distinguish from the bed sheet. You say, I wish they’d let […]

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