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  • Anna Morrison


Straddle the piano.

Spend days in malls

to grow accustomed to people. Fingers move

of their own accord. When your skin cracks, perfect

the lighting of candles. Hypnotize

snakes. They lack

an outer ear to hear your music.

I need the disinterested man’s eyes on me to know if there is progress.

For study. For preservation

of a beloved pet. From the moment she learns

to steeple, she’s intervals of flesh. A woman reading in public

does not wish to be questioned.

When that word is delivered

into leather, you don’t get to look at me.

Hide fox and all after.

She would be uncomfortable sitting on your lap, unless

you are adequately abstract.

Clay shaped some soft parts, making the specimen heavy.

Prescribe lullabies. A whip made of a beast.

Drugs rehearse the worst parts of yourself.

Kittens mounted on wire bodies

play a game of croquet. Welcome

to the collection. Lipstick

tarts microphones. Men of high status

sell medicines as souvenirs.


As with all simple beasts,

the cast of your body is called its form.

Too frightened of the other patients

to shower, you hurt me

with your faith in symmetry. Experts tattoo themselves with cobra ink.

We can’t all be assembled.

Anna Morrison's poetry has appeared in journals such as BOMB, Interim, Shampoo, and Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women. Her poems won the LUMINA and Prism Review poetry prizes and have been finalists for prizes from Omnidawn, The Iowa Review, and Ahsahta Press. Passionate about small-press publishing, she’s served as an editor for Kelsey Street Press and currently works with Omnidawn. An MFA candidate at Saint Mary’s College of CA, she lives with her partner in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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