Anna B. Wilkes


takes up too much space
balloons up to fit me

devours the flora inside
disrupts my ecology when I undress

sits cross-legged on my mattress
blows smoke in my face
sucks slim cigs
that burn without shrinking

tarts itself with promises,
jeweled & radiant,
says, just run yourself out of your body

wet mouth warm with empty

wipes rouge off its pock marks
crawls into my chest
says, slip through your own fingers

shows me the slink-spined femme fatale
I thought I'd be if I turned inside out

vamp with vomit-stained
bee-sting lips & small shadow

preens its peacock plumage made of lack
winces in the mirror
screams on the scale

tangle of petals twisting up,
irregular after my fallout

winds around the stiletto heel trellis
at the end of the pin legs
I promise myself when I'm full

Anna B. Wilkes earned her MFA in poetry at Rutgers University-Newark and her BA in English from the University of Tennessee. She currently teaches English composition at Rutgers. She was a guest reader at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2014, and a recipient of the Margaret Artley Woodruff award for poetry in 2012. Her work has been featured in Apogee, Regardless of Authority, and The Satir

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