Kirsten Kaschock



O skin. Inside you my bags
and rivers find language. If ever
I wished rid of your grammar--
if ever I wished flay (strung
over white laundry in sinew
and that opulent crimson-going-black
beneath jeweled buzz, only
gray tail furred still, a stole
at wrong end amidst such incoherent
caterwaul there was no determining
end) I was wrong to wish it.
Although you stutter, you spit
more than before and fit me
ill--I listen like a fish through purple
under-eye sleeplessness and know
if soul, then soul is not eye-pools, is
scratch-and-brush, the near-static of
your seven-day renewal. You alter
but refuse to clear scar. Even
as you double over, retract within me
vocals of aureole, of freckle, mole
and the worm-slash up my ankle-back
-calf where I gave unnatural
loud birth to a slippery achilles, newly
twinned, eel-shredded, I accept you
unbook are my best record and home.



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