mousy-haired and well-read
Please check this out: Oscar’s poem is in it! So proud of you love! <3
Next to herself, the body was all
that mattered to her. It was the opposite
of her greatest fear: the city
in which she lived, where streets sprouted
overnight like weeds and snaked their way
into dead ends or through each other’s
aimlessness. Peopled to the brim and heavy
with smog, in the city it made
no sense to look
up. There were no stars to lend order
to the nameless night, not even
street signs to follow-they were never in the right
places, nor were there lamps to keep them
The body was a different matter.
She drew her scalpel across its skin
with the certainty of a lover tracing
the distance from his city
to his beloved’s across the map.
She undressed it to the bone, descending
each layer in pursuit of geography,
following each twist of a nerve, each turn
of a vessel, like a traveler prowling
a city’s streets for the first time.
She staked her claim on its parts,
bestowing on each its proper name.
But naming could not keep its landscape
the same. Soon maggots descended
upon the body, changing overnight
what she thought
was conquered territory.
Another siren howled in the city
she preferred to keep
outside her window. She took her eyes
off the body and looked up,
the city moving into her eyes
before she could brush the maggots
off the body
with the back
of her gloved hand.
If I may, dear player,
my favorite bullshitter, let me say
steer clear of those women, proud in their heels,
their store-bought feminism, and love me
instead, mousy-haired and well-read,
able to read genre for your sake,
able to take slasher in your company.
Lay down your arms where I can
stay in them and send me to the moon, forget the freaks
we ran away from one afternoon by the library, the guard whistling in the hall,
the howl and swagger and the fall—
Don’t we all stoop and deliver?