1 poem

by Carolyn Janecek

Carolyn Janecek is a Czech-American writer and an MFA student at Colorado State University. Carolyn’s poetry has been featured in The Florida Review, Permafrost Magazine, and ellipsis… literature & art, among others.

This poem was longlisted for the 2020 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge ALOK.

Herringbone Nocturne

The dark fur beneath my belly button

is a newborn hedgehog, a fetal

pig, its teeth soft and spongey.

 

Black tar snakes slither downward­;

I pluck androgens like fire ants,

vicious red currants.

 

I erase the path to my handsome

phantom bulge, the cindering

between my legs, the way I

 

profile in the mirror, searching

for some tenor. A barometer

begs for brassy shouts, but

 

I am all sonar. A porpoise

blip, a white veil, my wight wail,

my black hairs plucked from bath

 

water. I scrape the stone

from my teeth, calcium

softened by peroxide. Hissing

 

red currants, I pour the juice

over my sternum, stare

at the spider on the ceiling. I try

 

to build my bones from memory:

bird buckled wrists, a foalish quiver

in my tendons. I’d rather be:

 

hard-lined, like Jenga blocks

or toadstools. A bone house

vaulting overhead. A skulled

 

dome, a rotting log I can

holler into, hear the echo swell

like a bug bite on my throat—

 

A red vein raptures through me.

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