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Jenna Kelly


We unfold like lingerie.

Peel away the oxygen
in light, slender petals
until my blood is lilac.

I dissect you a pig indigo
where intestines reel back
and scream with their toy
bodies in peak amplitudes.
I squeal diagnoses.
You troubleshoot.

There’s a dialect between
our lungs. We don’t listen
much to bodies these days.
Blue head, red machinery.

Speak below my spectrum.

Oscillate a way to valleys
where the medulla echoes,
collecting sensory inputs
like breathless flies

floating in a sludge
of Cola and tobacco.
I am the queen of dirty insects.
I’m turned on by clean innards.

I stain like vineyard phantoms.
What a fresh, white lust.
Keep your laundry close.

There could be bile.
There could be mud.


He spoke through the gobbling
moon, roasting its dusty sperm
with spice and menthol smiles:

tactile coercion, buttery tongues,
as though to sweeten the oceans
pregnant in my cells.

He melts from atmospheric teeth
—jaws syrupy in chalky cherries

jubilee, there salivated his offers.

He’d sew hearts from sticky light.
Gardens of his own flaking skins.
In the tradition of lunacy, he said
I, too, could someday learn
how to properly erode
over one bloody cycle.

Now that’s a harvest, he claimed,
flossing us like a slaughterhouse.
Such tender laughter: plucked
through berry gums, giggling
with piglet fire.


I’ve warned you of how we love drywall.

We’ve woven plywood volumes for years
depicting our eagerness to swallow:

the scratched linoleum, the urinated carpet,
the wallpaper peeling like graveyard lilies.
We’ll devour the glue between your tiling
and gargle the colors
from weeping paint.

I’ve unhinged at my almond roots to gulp
down sunlight whole, to crown my ghost
and scalp alike with tangled garters.
I’ll bite your bones into a home.

I warned you about dimensions like me.

I know—I said I wouldn’t eat your porcelain
dolls if you could catch the ventilation mice,
but I also told you not to tempt me with dust.

➥ Bio