V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




His love buries me, and he’s in a rhythm. Foot
tapping to count signature time, an Oh, Oh, Oh
beat—heaving heaped shovels of dirt. Loose
soil, smooth stones, roll across my dull flesh,
slide, bead, seed how lush rain washes a leaf.

Petrified jellyfish surround. Rubbery worms,
hard-backed beetles, weave slimy threads
through limp digits and limbs, pull muddy strands
of morbid loom because it’s proper to blanket
the dead. He tells me I will blossom this way.

Fingers and toes burrow, cords of hair plug
into earth, wait for roots to take hold, hold. I
imagine a green growth escaping, rising, peeking
through soaked loam: a periscope curling to grant
a 360º view. (Cucumbers cannot grow too close!)

Prickly leaves, flowers yellow and velvet, months
pass before I produce fruit, ripen, start looking
human, again—when skin begins to thicken, ribs
begin to form. Hands twist so many pieces of me
free. Boning knives cut crowns, gutting spoons

scoop sticky insides before they gush like afterbirth.
The unborn will be rinsed, dried, spiced, roasted
on oiled baking sheet. They’ll shake, glide across
the silver pan, echo celebratory maracas. Someone
will carve my faces into fright or delight. At night,

a flickering, fugitive light will burn deep inside
until I draw hungry flies, my rinds rot, warp, return.


© by Jennifer Yaros


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