Anatomy of a Girl’s Throat (I)
chase after a sound
where this is no good side of town—the solid
white line you shouldn’t cross.
We are smokestacks with legs.
We are cups of water.
Jonah and the Whale
You found me with a whale stoned & poisoned
In my stomach & stars had crusted my eyes for days.
Father, you saved me once when two girls dropped
me from the pier like a sinker, like a fish, Father.
But when a man parted my legs looking for something pink
something damp, and bruised my grief-waters, you let the salt
residue & stars split, Father. This body of river holds me
like your need for distance; like quick silverfish, my silver stars
darting away. I am full of flies, Father.
Anatomy of a Girl’s Throat (II)
I have dreamed of horned beasts. I, unicorn;
I, deer; bloat with my unspoken shapes.
Not made for elephants; I, shapeshifter,
shift into a great ivory tusk. They exhaust
from my mouth, the ghosts,
like animals biting like animals going two by two.
They bloom and they un-bloom. Their antlers
scratching air, scratching cranium of sky.
Language fails me. I’ve grown wild.
who tries to lick me clean who slinks
under the coyote’s moon.
Stephanie Bryant Anderson is founder of Red Paint Hill Publishing. Recent or forthcoming publications include Vinyl Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and The Blueshift Journal. Besides poetry, she enjoys kickboxing and math. Her first poetry collection, Monozygotic | Codependent, is available from The Blue Hour Press. Selected by David Ishaya Osu.
Image copyright Satpreet Kahlor. Self-portrait photo transfer on fabric, paper.