chordata

Lindsay D'Andrea

we teach ourselves to crack without spilling over / the egg before it does not hatch believes itself whole / the body before it is dust swears it deserves more / the body talks like a parrot mimicking / the things it wants it’s been told to want / words amount to memory + time divided by brainwaves / growth into death / my grandmother’s spine a shrinking bean stalk / my father’s spine a buried jetty / my child’s spine a bone so small it gets confused for toothpick / the reality of stunned perennial / finished for its season / given up its whole body / abandoned duty to soil / we are not of the plant kingdom / over here the body wants / holds on season after season / i noticed the moon up there in its shell / wondered at the yolk / it took some time to recognize hunger / dressed in sex and light and accolade / the sound of a bloom breaking on its stem satisfies / we can get no more from it / ivy creeps over a house to one day drag it down / and then the hands on my wrists / and then the fingers inside me / and then the sluice of animal behind my ribcage / and then the animal fleeing / up all night sleepless / near the alley with bruises / inside a car by the river / meanwhile hands build the pyre / meanwhile coins on the eyes / meanwhile the body tells it like it is / a kingdom classified by a thought that it gets what it wants / empty shell alone / wherein there was family / divided by crook as a tree / remembered fondly / as a bone

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

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