Terita Heath-Wlaz




The Last Fetish


is at once sexually interesting to those with an appetite for processed trees.

In the beginning, the pulp cannot get more raw.

In the end, the binding is tight as lingerie.


I reject a eulogy at this time.

I have left it in my other pants!

I entertain fantasies of owning many, many

bookshelves, that squeeze my small body like a unified muscle.


This encyclopedia, as heavy as a breast, is mine.

I pore over it, lamenting vanilla's ill repute.

Whose orchid flowers have smooth membraned petals.

Whose rare and starchy pods are brown as mesopotamian soil.


Spare me the gluteal welts, the rug burns from fuzzy cuffs.

Hand me a huge, huge book.

I will weather the perils, the paper cuts, asphyxiation.

And coins falling from the pages into my lap.

What I get for combining bank and bookshelf.



Prudence Island


National Public Radio, I have extraordinary knees.

Caps on cashew cans, balancing on the tibia

like men riding unicycles,

juggling bowling pins up the columns of my thighs.

I have long been a fan of your quality programming.


The day was a worldwide oven.

We found shade at the fair, and a scar, and ate clam cakes.

Our pockets heavy with raffle tickets for the whole town.

I considered sobbing. Imagined a night-time permanently soggy.

Doctor Doctor Doctor!

Fluid moves in me like a Bermuda triangle.

I purchased a tilting wooden puzzle beneath a tent, a set of Pyrex,

became sunburned inside the building of a sepulchral mood.

The variegated canopies were squares of toilet paper fluttering.


My knees are so extraordinary they put needles into them.

Unknown soldiers in a biohazard box akimbo, a pile of chopsticks.

A dram remained at the tips. A spittle remained

and I did sob after all. Technology is lonely.


We won everything at the fair and the others were incensed.

Drunken firemen swayed on the ladder, chili-faced.

I ran from the angry voices on my bionic knee.

Some day this place will forgive me.





Greasy work gloves inflated my hands into balloon animals.

I threw wrenches into everything in sight.

The rafters harbored billowing asbestos dozing like an army of silverfish

That asked for my autograph.


I leaned over a dozen types of precipices at least

And flashed my chest toward the burning aurora.

The crowd was maybe a crowd of dehydrated foodstuffs.

Pods and eggs of things.

I decided to skip lunch.

This was ten years ago and I'm still one pizza behind.


The most I could do was return to have sex beside a trading card of Jesus,

Brand my shoulder blades on the iron bridge.

The view was shaped like a windshield,

The bridge was orange as a street sign and we died on the way down.



Can a thing lie down without legs,

Can a mind lie down?







My mother was not the mother

who scraped peanut butter into Cheerio sandwiches.

But I thought about this mother often—



No one can be entirely free of that sorcerer, obsession.

I really wanted to fold one billion napkins.








So Walter Raleigh gave it to his wife

until his palm print ripened her ass cheek.

Peaceable autumn, then the wineskins ulcerated.

Winter lowered its rigor mortis hands

sprouting fingernails made of icicles,

and the camp relieved him back to England

to the sound of settlers mourning,

his wife lamenting more vigorously than the rest

as her tenderized ass rewound into a blushless pear.


What man evades sorrow whose face perches on a snowflake doily.

His triangular beard slowing like a roulette needle.

Coincidentally and uncredited in history books,

he ate fish wrapped in chain mail.


Upon his unpunctual return, someone speculated that

climate can pummel an island into a boat.

There were no humanoid digits spoiling in the grasses.

Certainly this carving on a tree trunk, and this half a carving.

Theoretically a friendly tribe and a twin island,

a kidney shaped clearing of huts

and a woman imperceptibly emerging from grief.