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ISSUE:  Winter 2018



With no internal shell you keep 
yourself together in a sac
& the matter of attachment.

All you know you know by touch; shape, 
texture, and scale you draw into
the mouth of every flowering cup.

From pit to tip the suckers spring. 
Each flicker of skin crisscrossing 
your path a chance to make contact,

a chance to draw a body not
your own into your care, or spread 
out into theirs. The emptiness

you know you’ve labored to transpose. 
Your vacuum sets their course, carries 
these objects of desire toward

your hearts so that they hold; hemmed in 
in eight soft limbs and the borders
of concavities, folded fast.

The things that cling can’t always be 
predicted—slivers of mirror,
bits of bone, curls, keys, a toy gun.

Attachment: is it grace or grasp? 
All things unknown familiar in 
the peeling off & letting go.


Panicked, with inky melanin
you make a slipstream to get free 
or make autotomy an art

rewriting your anatomy. 
Camouflage has failed, mimicry 
cannot hold off attack. Scoring

your arms with incisions those claws. 
Whose cuts are these? Who bruises, chews 
at your skin, initiates this

severing? You watch it detach,
float away from you. Coppered blood 
infuses the already blue.

Self-sabotage, the first and last 
stage of collage, the cutting up 
without the glue. The bitten limb

goes unattached, but is renewed. 
You didn’t know you knew the art 
of self-repair until alone

those hundred days, watching something 
grow. New cups bloom the length of you; 
mouths opening by small degrees.

The whipping fins can be withstood, 
the gripping jaws. All that issues 
from the deep, in all likelihood.



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