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Elizabeth Hildreth



After Amy King’s THE MEMORY SKIN


I am marriage.

I am cake made of dinner

and gorillas. I want to

get up in your face and shoot

you with a shotgun, or at least

talk about it.

You hold me well until

theory pokes in.

That’s fucked up. I said

grace so this situation

would get better

and we’re still such animals.

Nobody’s thinking about this.


My first flubbed life came into

itself as blue monster

back stroking

into its foreign-born father,

full of hashish smoke

and cement shoes

and the noise of underwater.


Take up my sugar.

Put it in your arm

with a little red wine

and let me soak

my gin in it.

I can hear you

saying, I’m not sure

this will work.

Me neither.

That’s why I’m

still in the cave

surrounded by

fingers and dirty

hubris needles.


But stitch me, will you?

Then draw the horse

and drive me down

where I was born

and will be again. That is,

where there be light,

everything smells

like fire on fake.

Somebody across

the ocean is eating

bread, breaking

it apart for his beloved,

hiding all his ham-


To reach through,

he knew something

at one point

or wanted his country

to. Still, he threw up.

What a sight to behold.

Don’t scoop it up

with your hands.

Nobody should have

to do that.

Listen to my shell.

It sounds like backbones

of wives and fish

and repeating.

It sounds like the inside

of our life.









Today I daydreamed about today and how

it might happen that we would drink it.


We didn’t. We ate cupcake frosting and it tasted

like a Republican, i.e., stiff and airy


as a backward angel. We also ate pictures

of each other writing songs about each other


while sucking each others’ fingers.

The room, the shape of a cigarette.


Our hearts were pounding!

The community van was shaking!


Let me tell you something

with this tongue. I never wanted to be the same


and in the dream I wasn’t. I was thick

and shaky, not thin and quiet as a stream.


I was blaring through your room with huge moon

boots on. I knew I was destined to land somewhere


first and get fired and so I did and so it goes.

Alone. You can’t quit kissing. That’s kind of ridiculous.


Honk if you love leaving.

Or France and all things French.


The first thing I saw: the patch.

And I was in for it. I guess I never understood geography.


What kind of person really does? Though suddenly I knew how

everything happens; I could map it from the first thing I wasn’t.



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