In your dream, the act of breathing is a red-headed girl
with a body lactose-pale and livid against the skin
of water. A crack along the porcelain cup of this,
colored all absinthe with you. The closed white shutters
of your backbone as you sleep toward wrists spilling
their listless snowflakes farther south. Mouth:
night’s lilacs branching insolubly. Hair hissing, stems.
Mouth: the hospital: your houses are asking chemicals
out of the dark. Your lids are the lime-lined,
impromptu graves of thieves. As a mind,
your body is a wall of leaves; let its edges whisper
a collage of liquids singing, lips, the sangria weeds.
This selection is from Jennifer Militello’s book Body Thesaurus, available from Tupelo Press. Purchase your copy here!
Jennifer Militello is the author of Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named a finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award by Marilyn Hacker, Flinch of Song (Tupelo Press, 2009), winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award, and the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, The Paris Review, and Best New Poets 2008.
Mary Stone Dockery is the author of One Last Cigarette, a poetry collection, and the chapbooks Blink Finch and The Dopamine Letters. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Stirring: A Literary Collection, Gutter Eloquence, Arts & Letters, Redactions, and others. She earned her MFA from the University of Kansas in 2012. Currently, she lives and writes in St. Joseph, MO, where she teaches English at Missouri Western State University and coordinates the First Thursdays Open Mic at Norty’s Bar and Grill.