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This is a moveable beast.

Tie This up and take This everywhere. The backs of This’ knees all sicked from This’ scratching. This can bellow a balloon of semen. Ask your mother to dinner and This will only pass time. This is too much for a mediated form. This is too golden for a train car. This is too loud for a street too harsh for a pond and This is gonna vomit to make you hear This. This is the passing of a feeling you ran from toward your own dying. Take it down with menstrual ink: you can’t ask This’ middle name. The verb of This’ breathing is just the adjective of your alienation, which This holds onto in the sweet sweet dreams when the cock’s inside This. This wants to know if you hear This because This says it’s time to let the dog out it’s time to dance. This barks at you from under the covers. This snatches love like your mother losing to her virginity, like the same silent tongue licking many cultured clits. This could explode. This will leak on your first born. This will shoot you dead on your wedding day. This will gnaw on your cock and make a new one from the breast flesh This bit off of you. Honey, they said, people don’t like it when you talk about guns, they said. This said that people who are scared of guns have never fucked one. This is limited by the image of your face across from This. Will you take This home now? This is ready for the falling anthem in your pockets. This is ready to deep throat your theories of sustainable identity. This is ready to enema your criminal innocence. This hasn’t earned the right to feel pain. This hasn’t been made prostrate enough to any almighty construction to seek forgiveness. This asks for lashings. Fifty lashings on This.

biochemical physiology

my gonads shrink at the sight of it
they refuse the suffering lineage
they birth a little creole with my dream-speech
that’s knife-quickenin’ and guilty
i know
it all depends on the light
i know
i know and you don’t
its facetious presentations its prismatic triggers
its laid out as 600,000 square miles of
that’s soon wilting soon burning
my gonads shrink at the sight of it

my seasonal hyperphasia welcomes
deciduous forests this perfect timing
for migration for escape
it was a middle-distance migration
south to north
i was a middle-distance runner
fast and long
he was a middle-distance relative
young and knowing
it was a middle-distance assault
set and blurred

tar balls pebble the shore
the spill spilling something locked and quite
so it gushes out
it can’t be capped
and so i know it’s time

they filled it up they shucked it
they tucked a killer in the water
Corexit! Corexit!
linin’ my limp tongue
accosting orange boons linin’
the edges of homes and water
let’s get to the cardiotoxicity of the matter
bluefin tuna splayed along the Beltway

the family reunion will go on
the snowy egret still touches down
still dives with silver precision
into poisoned surf
Grandmere turns 81 regardless
so we puff our poison a few miles south
set up camp for The Last Summer
they say
they say it could be the last summer
before the water’s a slick mix
of quick fixes and
flammable American blood
before what’s set and silent spills

a wind blows so the body knows
It’s time! It’s time!
complex and poorly understood
with no strong directional orientation
go to bed with the wind
migrate anyway
listen to your gonads
cry at the mouth
of the bay lamenting jubilees with
wailing and gnashing of teeth

i bleed off the calling-pangs of
“What next! What Next!”
another way of saying waste waste waste
another way of saying
baby dolphins dried-up on shore
another way of saying
gohn n git!

*Corexit is a toxic oil dispersant which was aerially distributed into the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill.


Haley Hemenway Sledge is from the Gulf South and currently lives in New York City. Her work has appeared in Nola Defender and Revisions. 

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