Your face is wax with anus lips stretched
so thin you can never cry at what you’ve made

yourself. Sexy is poison under the skin, sand
for breasts. Sexy is in the eyes of the

owner. The taste of fear on skin, the smell
of plastic in the secret places which are, no longer

secret. This is LA; can’t you see the lights?
The cameras? Someone is yelling “Action”

if only you could move. This is New York;
can’t you see the glittering buildings stretching

above the trash? This is the briefest moment,
a frightened bird flying from the darkness

through a lighted room and back into darkness.


No one cares about the demarcations
of the soul unless the body has been properly

preserved. The stale, brownish spots on the brain
caused by dehydration, the vibration of seemingly

dormant particles, these can be chewed around
or simply cut out, but they won’t poison

the gut. Still, they lessen taste, aesthetic appeal.
The assisted suicide of the heart when infinite

incarceration is whiffed is identifiable by the patterns
of standing hair on limbs, around ears, inside nostrils.

No one cares if you’ve been to Montana if you’ve
clearly eaten your horse. Souls are not mountains;

revelations are not landslides. Beauty is a way
of hating that which I will never be. We’ll all

wear hats to hide the sunken-in-ness of our pates.
Our spurs will jingle when we walk. Some fool

will call it love until the dinner bell rings.

Sweet Heart

Baby, come back to bed. I promise
I won’t nibble your heart no matter how
peckish I get. It’s warm inside my mouth
and comfortable on my soft tongue. You
can wear socks, watch bad movies
and no one will be an ass about it.
You can be beautiful in my belly. It’s got
mirrors on the ceiling and mood-lighting:
whatever mood you like. Baby, I’m sorry
I said things you needed to hear. I know,
Now, want is more important than need.
Want feels better on the skin, that soft skin
that tastes of salt and honey. My rounded
teeth could never pierce that skin, now. Lay
down beside me. We’ll share a dream of eggs
folding into flour and oil, heat and teeth,
delicacies devoured.

- - - - - - - - 
CL Bledsoe is the author of the young adult novel Sunlight; three poetry collections, _____(Want/Need), Anthem, and Leap Year; and a short story collection called Naming the Animals. A poetry chapbook, Goodbye to Noise, is available online at Another, The Man Who Killed Himself in My Bathroom, is available at His story, "Leaving the Garden," was selected as a Notable Story of 2008 for Story South's Million Writer's Award. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 5 times. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings,  Bledsoe has written reviews for The Hollins Critic, The Arkansas Review, American Book Review, Prick of the Spindle, The Pedestal Magazine, and elsewhere. Bledsoe lives with his wife and daughter in Maryland.


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