The Pillowcase

by Jacqueline Donofrio

I am vertical and almost nonexistent,
I have loved myself to the point of martyrdom and I carry that heat with me.
This year I learned that cartography is a sin not a science,
Bodies become prisons become graveyards become dust.

The wound of your name is split between my teeth,
An endless sharpness to swallow without blinking,
I’ll take you into my stomach and name you divine intervention, coal mine canary.
Is this an inside job or an exit strategy?

I emerge from the seafoam a moon-husked emerald,
Love ripped out at the root.
Spider slings her web with abandon and like her I fancy myself a
Disobedient woman.

I have pressed against good men and locked doors while the world mourns and moans.
November is only fit for hunger, I do my best to not become either
Primordial or a carcass.

Think of me when the sky is pink,
Think of me when it rains.
I pray at the altar of myself.