November 2017

Erin Keener

moss and ferns and other living things

there are words you’ve said
( erotic - holy - marriage )
that make me want to slip my
knifesharp tongue
inside
your downy mouth

that make me want to study your voice box
like a frog on an anatomy table
i would cut it out if it wouldn't hurt you
just to see the way the muscles move

            i wonder how you'd say the word frog
            and morning
            and please
            god please

i want to dissect you on the kitchen floor
splay you out and learn all of you

            moss, i’d like to see your lips say moss

it doesn’t occur to me that this might not be normal
to imagine your trill as something to slit and cut out and carry
to want to hold the guttural sounds of you
like a tender tadpole in my polluted palms


Erin Keener is a poet and single mother living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her poems have been featured in Display magazine and many letters to unrequited lovers. She is currently working on a chapbook of poems about Twin Peaks and the politics of the kindergarten playground.

Emily Corwin