is the modern synonym for skeleton.
Marrow, a euphemism for hive mind:
on better days, hormones.
Head. I’ve learned to assemble the wiring
from IKEA pictographs and indecipherable
craniums. Home. I am nowhere near human
now – the scalp smells like an oil slick,
gathering the corpses of unfortunate beasts
in its tendrils like a greedy cephalopod.
Colliculus = “little hill”
For now, I’m tapping holes in the preserved midbrain
and planting flags for each aspect of perception I conquer.
Once, ice picks hammered out personalities like pollution
and we fished in unknown lakes for the Lochness monster.
We used to read the brain as consequential bumps.
Now, we have to tackle the mind as a mountain range
named after devoured gods, mythological storms,
shapes irrelevant as constellations. Erecting
religious symbolism for each psychological corpse
in absence, as if we’ll find something more meaningful
than chaos and asymmetry in the flesh.
Let it be – we are comprised of pale, mismatched Legos
and upside-down jellyfish colored like smoke over a sunet
without the immortality. Phantoms pulsate in the roots
and tell us to act – this is a transient sermon,
forming pulpits from membranes and organs from foramina.
There is no scenery like Apollo nesting in the vesicles.
This is how I’d recite the spine: lucent and finite
in its homily. Movement, the lucky alignment
of windows – breath, as busy junctions and fragile stoplights.
but there was succulent wax
sternum coughing like an ancient crayon
when it cracked
I asked them to be careful with the lungs
when they attached our viscera to moldy twine
wove a splintered basket
lit a saccharine candle
and charged admission after the inflation
what they called an attraction
we claimed a defiance of anatomy
drafting patents in useless oxygen
and there was blood, there was drowning
there was another breed of burning
but hell, we lit a smile
drawn from the corpses of pastels
and then there was the impossible
What are the symptoms of wanting
outlets to melt in your hand, stick
to your cheeks with cheap licorice?
I console my batteries like dying
crickets. Wait for that leg to sputter,
the mic in its thighs to gain power.
Pure water isn’t very conductive.
I dare you to drink from wetlands
that don’t transform your feet to rubber.
The electric tongue, stilled in new tar.
Lily pink lingers on your fingers, misty
on the matter if it was Advil or candy.
It’s not about healing anymore
but liquefying your spine into
rivers brimmed with biomass.
is a coppery heat
when each carnival
syllable festers in
Burrows. Pops up
its polyester tents
like scarlet groundhogs
with the seasons:
animal lungs balloon
in their pockets, emptied
of iron. How rich
is your soil—
that boils its few coins
to the autumnal stutters
of clanking hearts
and gunmetal tongues.
We are creatures of prudent stitches
stuffed to stillness: black currants,
puppet buttons, unfathomable tides.
Patchworks of fluid and dark hands.
We slosh. We are full. We are poised.
I spread my neighbor’s flustered aorta
on my nutty morning toast, buttering
quiet guts with envy and wholesome
hearts. We became artists in this way.
Cannibals. Rancid sculptures. Poised.
Later, I’ll squelch my own shadow
like jelly bean crawlers. Exquisite
exoskeletons sprout crooked light
in berries from neighboring teeth.
Their jaws are set. We are poised.
Our hands lie still.
Guts. Jaws. Still.
We are poised.