- Late 14c., from Anglo-French carogne, from Old North French carogne; a term of abuse for a cantankerous or withered woman, literally “carrion,” from Vulgar Latin caronia (see carrion).
I wake up in the desert Sylvia Plath.
In sand until it becomes hot enough for pain,
eyes burn under their lids. Morning
these days: too
Death a bauble where conscience should be, finding
a new girl in granular limbs, swimming.
How long before we bake into paper?
How many endless-sky afternoons until we turn blonde as baby days?
Bones forcing a body to find water.
Of course topography: for muscles, for contours.
Of course dunes and walking, falling
back into a greater expanse
of particulate flesh, exponential
hours of loose failure,
I was ample, once.
How soft that was, sliding into my own loose earth.
Of course topography so eyes remember
they are for seeing more than three channels:
Blue for sky
blink fetal red glow
blink chameleon gold.
Replace dune with bones, bones with mountains.
To loom and provide shade,
bring purpose to my womanhood’s negative space.
Out of grit, become disparate anatomy: fairy-tale-being.
feeding land from decomposing mythical flesh.
One day, if I’m lucky, I too will decline
my spine will fall
scoured clean with sand.
Another girl will blister-foot her way up to me,
waste valuable water crying in relief
By that time, the word ‘relief’ will hold no meaning
if paradise is all it cracks open to be.
We crawl into the first cleft of rock
pull legs in
tibia-fibular siblings marionette-like,
We know bone weeps if you dig deep enough.
We know we must drink
before flesh forgets native function,
chars and peels
Feeding here means hand-to-mouth succulent and tough green leaves, bitter but full of juice, tearing my tongue and cheeks to match my soles. Their redness corresponds: my wounds talk
to each other because my voice has turned to sand.
In a churchyard I bite into a smooth white round tulip bulb dug from the border of the chapel.
The taste burns for days,
I stuck my face in the hose, mouth open to rinse out the sting of perennial mistake
I wake up hard and into wind, steady out of the north and always in my face. I tell myself moments like this are commonplace in adulthood, moments like this are the daytime
equivalent of trying to go to sleep without a happy ending. My mother laughs at me,
lights up on a
Lights up on a phone conversation.
MOTHER (older, wiser) listens to
I imagined my thirties feeling more stable—
HA (continuously, for 30 seconds of polite amusement.)
My choice to abstain from
motherhood no doubt carved the
gap her laughter now fills.
End of play.
When she was my age, she was watching her dreams fall apart and reconstitute into the
faces of two healthy, growing,
I have never outgrown that trait. I stand waiting for a traffic light and I am still growing,
my underneath and inarticulate nature unhinging its jaw to draw in whatever might be of
I swallow full quarter-hours trying to fit this mouth around what the fuck I am going to
do now that I know how to get what I want, eating every moment of my days without a
thought to when they will be digested.
I look and look. Lights up
Lights up on a bathroom. A NAKED WOMAN, 32,
and her RIGHT EYE sit: one on the toilet, one in
Perhaps they are smoking a joint, or some other
liberal relaxation method. Perhaps one is
dissatisfied with her fat deposits (even though
that’s cliché). We all know which one pays too
I’m making sure I haven’t spontaneously become a man.
Eye puts the joint in the sink and runs water
over it, until the fire goes out, until the paper
and ash disintegrate, grey pigment no longer
staining the sink, the sound of water
traveling into the Naked Woman’s want at
her center and nothing escapes.
Read to me from the internet.
Absorbing selfhood past the event horizon, we can never
know what space the love we feed her shares with fear, or
anger, or confusion. We can only watch as the edge of her
maw moves back through time. Then the lights go out,
because no light can escape.
Lights out, End of Play.