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2 poems

by Sarah Sgro

Sarah Sgro is the author of the full-length collection If The Future Is A Fetish (YesYes Books 2019) and the chapbook Without Them I Am Still A Mother (Letter [r] Press 2017). Sgro earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Mississippi and is pursuing her Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo, where she studies waste in relation to gender and futurity. Her work appears in BOAATAnomalyCosmonauts AvenueDREGINALDThe Offing, and other journals. Find her @_sgrotesque.

"filth is not a metaphor" was shortlisted for the 2019 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Dorothea Lasky.

filth is not a metaphor

it’s a haunting it’s a dark & stinking car


it’s my underwear is stapled to the wall


yes this is transactional encounter


it’s transaction of the ampersand


my trash can is an archive which remembers every transaction


brown bags mean exchange except


when I’m displeased they mean return


a sweatshirt is responsible attire for the winter


& a metaphor for I belong to you


to transaction is a bad behavior


every filth is resurrected


archive is a haunting such as cork board


with my shriveled briefs affixed


in the restaurant I fill my water glass by swiveling behind me


that is very healthy says a woman reading


what I mean by healthy is convenient


this sounds like a metaphor but all transactions in this poem happened


I am striving to be literal


my body is a stretched material


metaphors leave room for ghosts & I am on the hunt


the sweatshirt smells fresh but I wanted it gone


the dark & stinking car resolves its filth at Delta Sonic Car Wash


bust my ghosts to manufacture nut


that line is haunted by a juvenile pun


I belong to all my ghosts but property is not a metaphor & nor is hunt


my attachment style is a water metaphor


a wave is curling water or an open hand


if I am filth ideally I will haunt


if I am shriveled by affixed it will be brief


a metaphor is a disturbance on the surface of a liquid


body breaking on the shore


“don’t be scared! everything dies!”

Everything Dies! A Coloring Book About Life! by Bri Barton

don’t die / why don’t you life / was weather or not / thunder tasted like a hot drink / too much sunset is polluted / hurt purple hurt purple / don’t you / hurt like a life like a sun / don’t / be scared! everything squirms / shame out-hurts despair / shame a butter knife inside my sleeve / death a necklace made of worms / musk is filth i wanted / any other organism / ciliate or nematode / partners meaning corporation or some company / do you think a lot about death / i don’t / i think the question is contextual / whether you are soil or an urn / legless burrowed thing / can’t forget the bed the purple drink could have never shouldn’t / did / i broke the sewer now it don’t / do shit / what will squirm is words & also drainage / silence & the underground conduit / everything will lie or laid to rest / today will reproduce the sun / or won’t / musk means i’m alive enough to sweat / wake up tasting butter / wear the necklace / wake up / don’t

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