The body says, cold. The body says, hot. The body speaks as an intuitive vessel alluding to the memories haunting deep in fascia & tissue. The body says, hold this rock in your shoulder like a prayer. The body says, enter me slowly. The muscles contract & I leave. The body, a miraculous thing that keeps the rays of sun from the inner organs but can’t discriminate between subtle & overt violence. This rings true for the body is not the myth I had come to believe. I ask you in secret, in whispers, in the dark, in the pleasant cratered face of an old moon, from the rafters a young boy’s body, in the sunken yard, the soil bleached by possum bones, the whole city pours out its grief in black linen and small cigarette butts, the body, not impossibly hungry but often buzzing & retching a foul odor

& then one day, sometimes under bright lights or dim heat

the body just stops.

Phoebe Nale 2019

Phoebe Nale

Nic Alea is a library worker and poet with work featured in journals such as Muzzle Magazine, the Paris American, decomP, Reservoir, BOAAT, Crab Fat and others. Nic is a Lambda Literary Fellow and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. Originally from California, they currently live in Narrm (Melbourne, Australia). Find more at