A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Olivia Gatwood

"Some girls aren’t born they burst"

after Kaveh Akbar

not from their mothers

        but some other kind of milky and muted house coated in blubber

they claw through the fatty husk or chew or peel

arrive          somewhere i imagine a field          or a city          or next to a pack of sleeping coyotes

        and gurgle up a voice like wet metal          which they spin and spin

        when they find themselves apologizing          they stop apologizing

these girls unravel into something whole

        they do not do as demanded

when they cry they split the windshield          use the glass to clean the dead skin beneath their nails

the sadness becomes rage becomes song which lives like bloody yolk in their stomachs

        they suck on pennies and crash parties

these girls are so loud they forget they were ever just a newborn          infant          sack of reliant muscle

        they are desperate to fight and be fought

sometimes one will press the knife against his throat          and then her own

        sometimes one will swell like a tumor with teeth and hair          a face

when this happens          they all feel it          gather          and chant

         not for the taming of their sister

but the sanity          the wish for her anchored and cradled brain

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

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