wicked alice| fall 2011
Fourteen: you did it to yourself
Unstick your thighs. Plug the hole
with gum. Remember
the pierce, the safety
pin—tip burned. How you
pushed in, through a second
of skin: hours. Pasthips
electrified. Sheets pink
from the bellymouth. Fade
the walls make talk. Hot-toast-
pricks fill your ears. Speak them
silver you lighter you
flirt, you thigh.
Once corded, now
hooked: your swollen:
buttonlip: your beaded chump.
What on Earth: the shortest autobiography
Many times they said to the child, No god in your house. No God in your house. She stared at her hands, saw in them trees. Becoming clumsy, she’d fall, walk into jagged.
A day she began to bleed. Realized rivers. Let rafts empty her, into Ocean.
Then. What on Earth they taught her became holy: it softened. She’d visit, find arrowheads, pray.
She found brokens
just inside the door/ Brokens once whole
once taken by the ear/ Lips placed there to drink
now lies in teeth pieces/ On both knees
she slides shards into her palmcup:
A hunked-off lip/ Thorny slivers / Grainy bits
she drags across tile
An anthill powder she presses its fine
into her finger’s oily tip
Sarah Neal is currently working on her MFA in Poetry Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, .She lives in Yonkers with her dog, Sylvia, and two cats, Mama Cass and Chloe.