My Envy Grows Out From Between My Lips Like Limbs and Trunks
I. How the Envy Took Root
I bleat like an animal
when I remember, just to hear
the sounds so piercing
they cause me to buckle, fracture
in sharp, expectant cracks.
I brace myself
for the fall --
face long, legs bowed,
hair unruly. I collapse
with envy. It shakes me
until I sweat it out,
that nasty scent.
In retaliation to my undoing
I take a needle
threaded with gossamer string,
begin to hide the envy
in my damp skin.
II. How the Envy Manifests in My Dreams
She sang with plump, purple balls
of flowers between her teeth, massacring
words, lisping lullabies. My hand
enveloped in hers, I squeezed -- could I feel
slick sweat, a bit of her now mine?
III. Envy as Scavenger
At the side of the road I saw
carrion. She was shining
grotesquely red and glossy, gluttonous
heart humming between her ribs.
Birds sat in her middle and ate away
muscle and sinew, her tendons torn
in peckish fights of hunger, oh,
this flurry of birds, they wanted it bad.
IV. Envy as Secret (What I Do Not Tell My Love)
I'm a deer for you.
that you understand
my antlered body;
gritty tips leaning into you
while we sleep, surrendering
my chance at softness.
My envy (desire) for her
is a secret. We lather it
into us like sugar, reveling
in her raw magnetism.
Desire is a part of our speaking,
what I've chosen to leech out
and make gift to you: the remains
of my body, which is now
our home. You have been through
the pull and give of my gut,
little meaty bits pushed unevenly
through the stitching:
I'm sewing my secret for you
Gina Abelkop is a graduate of Antioch College. She lives in Seattle, where she pursues the Pacific and persistent rains. She has self-published a chapbook of her poetry and prose, We Can Be Very Lovely, and she edits and publishes the quarterly feminist literary journal Finery. Her collaboration with photographer Carrie Gabella is expected to appear in a forthcoming issue of Hothouse, published by Persephassa. For more information, visit www.birdsoflace.com.
Issue 15 or Lodestar Quarterly home page