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Like the buck I am I turn my head

side to side. I hear the leaves

rustle. I shake my head a little

and birds reel ’round the forest.

I am no branch. My head turns

to the side. I see out my side eye.

The deep pool of the eye

sees itself pool in the mirror.

I oil myself ’til I am all a lather.

My chest heaves out

so my full heart can abandon

the ribs’ stockade. Where

the bullet would go if the hunter

were a good shot: that’s

where I place the razor.

I make my skin taut. I pull

my own neck back and to

the side. I come for myself.

Yes, I was a lady once but now

I take the blade and move it

slowly past the jugular, up

the ridge of my chin where

the short hairs glisten. I was

once ashamed. It was a thing

I did in private. My own self

my quarry. No more.

Look how the doe comes ’round

and also the doves and also

the wolf who lets me pass.

The fox offers me the squirrel’s

hide to buff myself to shining.

There is no such thing except

the smoothness of my face.

outside the window. And plenty

of people are dying in various ways.

And won’t the infrastructure fail

all on its own? Without me building

a bomb in the desert? These are the

kinds of questions that make me know

I’m not fit to decimate the planet.

Which is sort of sad to think

about. All that potential I’m just

giving up on.

from Rocket FantasticFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Gabrielle Calvocoressi Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.