The first time I ate oysters
was with you & you
watched as I tilted my head
& swallowed the slime
& I laughed at the salt
on my insides
because I like salt & you
because I didn’t vomit.
The first time
with you & you
watched as I
swallowed the slime
& laughed at the salt
on my insides
I didn’t vomit.
tilted my head
ii. I Don’t Know how to Clothe this Loving Body
Since this morning I have lain here
almost naked on your leopard print
avoiding eye contact with appliances.
I have so many ideas about the things that I’m not.
My body floats somewhere around.
People don’t really want to know about it.
Why is it that loved ones place so much weight?
I blame photos of myself & other women.
Is it possible to exchange memory for tightness?
When I was small-scale I didn't know how to love.
Now I am enormous.
It’s easy to forget which parts are temporary.
There is nothing I want more.
Oh, baby, what should I be aiming at?
All I really want is to be admired.
I heard a light bulb
described as a solid piece of light
& all I could think of were the filaments
squirrel caged & possessing
some kind of liquidity like that
of this moment in which I'm standing
on this floor & not the one above
for my reflection in the taps & in the light bulbs
as I tilt my chin upwards. Lately
I tend to study limbs
in search of hard lines
& tight angles
to justify a recent fear
of disappearing elbows. I've also taken to biting
that lip between two fingers
& wondering if the flesh
will swallow the joint while I
avoid the full length
& think of how I'd like to own things
like a crocheted swimsuit
& a jar of maraschino cherries.
Emma Mackilligin is a poet and woman. She lives in London.