By Beth McIlvaine

There are days when I would crush the girl out of me
if I could.
I would take my thumbs to the clay of my hips
and push the swell flat.
I would crumple my hair into a quick and bloody twist
of scalp.
I would eat myself down to the gristle
and the marrow
and I would eat that too.
Salt and stipple of my fat, bitter organ,
all those heavy tides,
some days I would trade every secret
for another secret.
I would trade this open throat
for a ringing bell.
I would unlovely, unround, unbecome
this tender, this joy,
this folded prayer.
I would prune myself down to
and feed him fingers of myth.
We would burn down
our heart
like a sugar cane field.
Even now, we are watching the ash rise
our belly full of dumb,
screaming blood.


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