Louisa Spaventa




In Which I Give Birth from Loneliness


My hidden bull.  My chimeric.

Splinter in my eye, split of my twin,

Splinted syringe.  She is raw.

A mouth sore.  She embeds.


My body makes monsters:

They too are raw and sore.

A jellyfish under the pillow.

Feet like welts, embossed,

Only slightly ambulatory.


Such small, heavy ponds of mercury.


My body sends out sacks of skin.

I wrap deflated orbs in swaddling clothes



Drinking Tea


Sachets pendulate,

plant in a cup,

witch water weeps darker.

Questions sputter.

Here and there

I have spilt:


Should I stand, cold with my curtains

spread, rubbing off flesh flecks

into sand mounds,

gathering crescent shaped,

folded nude barrier,

moating a distance between

our image of me?


Further back than my solitary hanging

bat of a uvula, there is a spring

drying in my mouth:

will I dance for you?


Sliding coldness on with a

window-washer's brush

and hosing down my flammable lips?


I could face down in sand,

but my horrified back

would prickle into cactus

to stay as I am.





This moment could be exhausted blade

before thwack-apple parting,


tame socks, fleece, ardent in

the sterile warmth of a plastic uterus,

ignorant of dust, of light,


peek beneath the hammerhead's frown—

find newly-flossed teeth,


absorb dulcets of hard-shelled

gum before the distraction of



keep a raindrop steady on my wrist

as faithfully as rubber.


All becoming caught with sticky

or salt, or the influence of mud,


I thought to defy a pattern:


scale the walls of hollow tub

stay chaste without shoes

and lose my arm in folds of hill.


The moment of conscious fresh could be

the first vessel to wave the breeze

with scarlet sails and not

be shored on reefs of guilt.