Listen

By Elizabeth Oxendine, TIWP Student

They treat her words like fallen eyelashes—
meant to be swept into the abyss to join all things delicate.

She tests the boundaries of the universe with a yellowing pencil
sinking the dull lead further into woven fibers
until she’s sure she can puncture the walls of truth.
She is the first creature to chase around the concept of God
through the forest of her capillaries
and find the all-powerful reclining against the tissues of her own heart.

They come for her with a pyramid of firewood and a single match
with shackles attached to diamond rings,
with scalpels christened by the blood of another women.

When she stands and pulls the beautiful key to the unknown from between her lips
the crowd sees the empty purse of her hallow uterus.
They see the slope of her chest and wonder what the ravishing red bundles atop of her breasts would look like beneath their curious fingertips.
The vibration of her chant falls prey to the hollowness of their skulls.

 

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