Brandy Sejeck


Like a neophyte
I have converted to life
The topography of the body
no longer still
a map lifted by wind
A rustling heart flaps
against a rib
a lung flutters
I trace around fingers
up arms
across breasts
north    south    west
to the hot compass
of memory
its needle nodding
a disturbed buoy
It was April
or was it December
when the dried apricot heart
inverted like a mouth
and started sucking
a vampire bat
Now I am bloodless
I drag my bones in a burlap sack
My breasts are spoiled potatoes
fallopian tubes    shed snake skin
eggs    little mercury beads
that gather like lead BB’s
at my feet
Now my gender has rotted off
No pink    lacquered    keratin
pointed fingers
No slippery    tallow lips
No bobbles    or frills
sailing out
like a great blood gauze
in every direction
Only the wound
an oracle
seaweed purple
black as ocean tar
blood-waves rolling
like tongues
each a scripture
I cannot decipher
so I listen to a conch shell
It whispers to me
a season of figs
of fluted stalks
ivy spires rising
like Poseidon’s beard
a choir of hair
soft as angel quills
out of the spinach sea
to the vegetable sun
pumpkin orange
The earth
a graft of skin
smoothes over my wrists
the blood stunted
like a geisha’s feet
life plugged into the body
each arm a rampart
white cells
red cells
rushing at the heart
the arterial pump
like the now-full
now-empty hands of a juggler
Now I am a seraph
wrapped in a scarlet shawl
Now I am a corpse
Now    a bandaged semaphore
whiter than white hospital sheets
My hands make riddled demands
A rattle of tubes    saline
fine leather straps
A tumble of shoes
clutter the room
one doctor
monument tall
taps my knee
one my heart
It’s no use
I say
It sputtered out long ago
in a house in Westchester
where a reed armed man
lashed out
a cat-o-nine tails
and left his mark


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