Life Cy­cle of the An­i­mal Called She

The Walrus - - CONTENTS - By Liz Howard

Wife Mother Mis­tress Wait­ress Nurse Whore Maid Maiden Crone Birth Mar­riage Grave Ad­dress Oc­cu­pa­tion Age

I made a line with­out con­tin­u­a­tion. My name in red Letters along the belly of this curve. How to cure him Of the colic, the bed wet, the con­quest, or the lack Of con­sent. I haven’t got it in my purse, in my nerve, Or in a hospice of milk. Ev­ery­thing we see could also

Be oth­er­wise. I had an­other be­gin­ning. I took love down From its shelf and in­serted it into my ori­fice. The cen­tury That flat­tered me begged also in roses and spring, I am But a sin­ner yet re­treat­ing. The lim­its of my lan­guage

Are the lim­its of my world. I took love out of my ori­fice And buried it by the river.

The pic­ture is a model of re­al­ity. I have no sense be­cause

I am be­tween gen­ders in the west end of this dy­ing city.

Give me a balm of women’s kisses. The flame of my dessert. I woke up and texted you: It’s over. I woke up to get my­self Some meat. I made a mask of all the fea­tures that are re­ced­ing. The light a bawdry in­fant dis­closed amid a lawn of cos­mos.

There is an am­ber coloured skull in the paint­ing called Van­i­tas That is my son. My son can­not speak be­cause I have no son. I have a brother on the spectrum. He drives a rig haul­ing me­tals. He is my brother but we do not share a fa­ther. It is im­po­lite To speak of such things. My head­stone could read that I was An an­i­mal un­afraid to breathe these ti­tle’s their speak­ing.

Sub­poena my be­lief. Love doesn’t work here any­more. I lifted my face into dis­trac­tion. I lifted my hair at its roots, My breasts with wires. When I dreamt the In­dian Agent He was the ac­coun­tant of per­sua­sion. I let down my limbs And repli­cated. I do not know any other door through Which to en­ter. Cas­ti­gate my own body in ser­vice to

The tyranny of will which is no al­tar. There is no take Away in the for­est. Who will be in­vited to eat and de­vise A plot of land? Make this man­tle dis­ap­pear: the world Is in­de­pen­dent of my will. I’ve said this. Noth­ing in me Can ever truly pay the lease.

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