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I Want to Raise You in My Starving Image

Natalie Eilbert

No one told me there’d be mountains here.
The splendor of geography. The splendor
of a Christian foot at the edge of a motel bed.
Ever since I pulled you from the gasoline
crag. Ever since I swaddled you
in cellophane like mamma taught me,
three wraps around the torso to sleep in.
You inserted yourself fantastic, wand
in the espresso swirl. Existence is a direction
we never welcomed, and so we respond
in fragments, and so I respond in fragments
so tactile a boy could scrub his heels away
on its abject geometry alone. You are a boy.
Thank you. The Cure crackles
on the transmittal radio in this sordid
apocalypse, and you will surely die
without my protection. I’m giddy
just watching the radioisotopes pour over
the stupidity of mountains, I pull
the curlers from the stupidity of my
gorgeous mane. Mamma cut my hair out
with a steak knife and didn’t draw a dot
of blood, so perfect was she. What a fine head
you have. I dressed you in your sleep in the finest
linen so you wouldn’t sweat. Did you want me
to cackle. We’ve all been married before.
The better advice is to throw up
your breakfast muffin in a discrete location.
Thin yourself above the oblivion of ritual.
Thank you. Mamma handed me
peroxide and told me to rinse the Jew
from my roots. But you are blond already.
A boy. And as a boy you will have
to suckle any number of tits
before the Super Baptism, swallow your
own spitty milkshake. You will walk
with the violence of merging.
The millionaire airs skinning your back.