She’s in the throes of something,
though her right leg is coyly bent. That
won’t be displayed, but most everything
else, yes – certainly the inner workings
of the torso, the chest cavity, are blossoming.
They’ve come unmoored
in their swollen state, spilling out – the color
of beeswax candles and used condoms,
the blind mole found once wandering.
Just a hint of blue. A tinge of red.
The skin and meat of her breast flops
to the side, supposedly trivial now.
Yes, there’s definitely something going on here,
though her face is composed. Both the eyes and mouth
closed. Slumberous after satiation.
This one with her intestines spread out
and over where her heart lies, their vessels
crimson, is certainly spent.
There’s a glimmer of eye and the parted
lips, as if to say, Ah, yes, that’s how it’s done.
The skin of her breasts like the edging
of that dress worn once. Her arm detachable
or supposed so, the thin crack along the bicep.
And her leg, like the other, coquettish.
Something here, too. The little death.
The big death, leading to display.
Luscious disemboweled girl.
Tarting the innards.
This one, here, not.
With the neck muscles filleted
and the esophagus – is that the esophagus? – lit up.
She doesn’t look satisfied. She looks pissed,
that restrained simmering kind learned. Unfortunate
that the facial skin wasn’t peeled back
just a little bit more to erase
that bitterness. That, Who do you think
you are? Even the name
she’s been given irritates.
We circle around. Return to the first
and the second. Say we’re learning.
Say we’re educating ourselves, broadening
Kelly R. Samuels is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited Press) and Zeena / Zenobia Speaks (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Salt Hill, The Carolina Quarterly, Sweet Tree Review, Heron Tree, and SWWIM. She lives in the upper Midwest.