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Natalie Eilbert

Who will feast on the brainworms
I have chosen to mate with. I never
even flew a kite before the wipeout.
There is the scene in Moby Dick
where Ishmael tattoos himself
an entire novel on banishment,
and then there is my bare arm.
My womb is full of industry.
The frigate ropes utilize the skins
of my alone. I stow and I stow.
I remember Cuba. The gun
against my temple. What gun.
What cuba. There is the scene
in The Plumed Serpent where
Kate shoots a rebel in the throat,
and then there is my dull neck.
Fewer care for this novel
though both are as racist.
As lapsarian. As if.
I hated my rapist so much
I wanted to cut the Adam’s
apple from his throat
and bite down on its nectar.
If it should be forbidden
in the sense that nothing
is forbidden. Instead I wore
a gold chain baring that nothing
for two years. Consent congealed
over the marks. I wondered
the pattern of Esther Greenwood’s
suicide nightgown. How dirt
wedges itself between
the smallest prettiest fabrics.
I wanted my wrists to graze
everything like an apology
to future ruins. The royal
damage of my girlhood.
I wanted to pull a man
tight against my brined dress.