This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Genevieve Pfeiffer, is from Still Life by Kimberly Ann Priest, released by [Pank] Books in 2020.
Content warning for pedophilia
my pedophile produces a cinematic frame
if it is pornographic // there is the soft spread of butter on toast / the few crumbs that suck salt from its yellow-white solid / thick with table knife scraping the center into furrows / yellow running onto white plate showing through deep cuts // and if she is nude the eggs are undercooked / soft round bulb of yellow shaped bright bulb / fork impressions on transparent shield / the full runny width of white plate // and if there is sex it is embryo / salt / slices of toast // but if it is breakfast / it is me // the whole white surface / bright and bulbing / undercooked / tight as egg // how much he loves salt / to lick it from the surface / butter rolled over his tongue // the way he sets the knife at the edge of the plate after preening yellow yolk from its teeth and never talks about porn or nudity or sex yet I feel photographed // a film played across a makeshift screen / white sheet / clothespins / the cheap re-enactment of something he eats // the eggs / the toast / the butter of me spread over its surface
Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird, finalist for the American Best Book Awards, as well as chapbooks The Optimist Shelters in Place, Parrot Flower, and still life. Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Salamander, Slipstream, The Berkeley Poetry Review, EcoTheo, Borderlands and other journals. She is an associate poetry editor for the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and assistant professor at Michigan State University.
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