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.