In which you are bone. In which your porcelain cheeks chip off peach paint. In which your skin crawls with living tissue, although not your own. In which, instead of blood, red mites pour from your wounds. In which you are an assortment of objects: forgotten Lego blocks, a glass cloche, collector stamps, upturned quartz. In which you are the feared weevil in the sandbox. In which you are the girl who uses sand to scrape the freckles off her nose. In which those melanin dots whorl away like pill bugs. In which no one crosses the barrier. In which you pray to a fern in the crook of an oak tree. In which you are slack-jawed. In which you are slick inner corners. In which you are woman. In which you were never woman at all.
Alyse Bensel’s poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal,Quarterly West, New South, Bone Bouquet, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Not of Their Own Making (dancing girl press) and Shift (Plan B Press) and serves as the Book Reviews Editor at The Los Angeles Review. A PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Kansas, she lives in Lawrence.