She took the knife out now. Richard had just risen, the mattress swelling with the forgiveness of his weight. He paused at the bathroom door, the light behind him throwing a shadow on the outline of his taut belly. A stiff, wiry hair, strong as an antenna, pointed from his middle roundness. Clara Jayne had the overwhelming urge to pluck it. Maybe even to suck it. He said, “I’m so glad we’re doing this,” “this” meaning the child he wanted and she didn’t.
Karla Van Vliet’s lyrical imagination has unearthed for us a tender relic, Fragments: From the Lost Book of the Bird Spirit, her third collection. Fragments is posited as salvaged pieces of an ancient spiritual text, written in an early defunct language (as suggested by the cuneiform-like marks on the book’s cover), ardent lines that are the survivors of extensive effacement and erasure.
At 10 centimeters dilated, after eighteen hours of labor, and maybe just to make me feel better, my nurse admits to once masturbating under her desk for the eyes of an intern and surgical fellow.
Here I am, a thinly veiled excuse,
piety prettied in a party dress,
a child bride among child brides.
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I am exhausted by the gods. I called their names for years,
waited for the chorus to busk a tune I could believe in, one
“Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles. Decay is said to occur in the parent nucleus and produce a daughter nucleus.”
When the dog, at last, is satisfied, we descend
from the highest peak we’ve dared test our spikes
groan and heave in heavy labor.
On the packed Purple Line Express train, Emma pretends that every person touching her is someone that she knows and loves.
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