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The Garden

Poetry & Prose | November 23, 2015

At the front of the room a man,

slaughters a pig with his tongue.

He slices O’s and N’s, moaning

they crumple at the tip of his pointed black shoes.

I want to tell him that there are no words left to take,

there are no man words.

 

I

He’s so scared, she whispers in my ear while he reads

I can only hear myself choking on his prose; it wrestles with my tongue

and I keep my mouth closed to tease it

apart

when I’m sitting alone because I want to own something,

but there are already a lot of things I get to hold.

They’re stuck under my nails so I pick at the soft underbelly of my fingertips

And think about how we would sit in the morning.

I would crack your shell, floating in a bowl of chewed up cuticles and Fruit Loops and skim milk,

while your fingers bleed into the breakfast,

The bowl is bloody.

I think it’s blooming.

 

II

It’s Wednesday and we’re in folding chairs looking

your words are looking at me with eyes, cavernous bowls overflowing, drool

dripping

down the edges of the half-filled room.

Your voice clutches a monotone, I imagine it’s crafted after years of watching trains and metronomes and silent movies; I bite the inside of my cheek and an apricot swells

in my knees, pressed against the afternoon’s smudged sliding glass doors behind you—

I try to think about us, unraveling,

two brown buttons undone, two brown eyes unbuttoned,

shaky hands shearing fingernails, they litter the bathroom floor

 

I think I would cry hyssop afterwards,

after you’ve lifted my chin,

and skinned me,

after you’ve opened my jaw,

and found the core, “oh”

the scales shift, your bare feet no pointed black shoes,

they dangle off my lips—

 

III

It’s noon, you’re hungry, rummaging in the garden or

maybe I am—we could all fall now—hearing the clench of my stomach rumbling,

cycling