Shears of season, bleats before slaughter eat
the sky above Cavan Town. Your forearms over railing
moist air in your lungs. You left the desert to whittle
your mind from aorta back to cranium. To divert
the narrative; a narrative burning in your guts. In this lough,
stories build inside you. The thing about the Danish folktale
is the emperor wants to be duped—wants to believe in a type
of specialness—to walk his bare cock n’ balls into a crowd
of hungry mouths to say, I choose to be barren. Go fuck your
emaciated bodies I created, the type of specialness rival
to zebra mussels filtering & storing polychlorinated biphenyl
& other contaminants to feed back to birds & fish that feast
on their molluscan foot. This toxic story—specialness
astray in mind, skin color, blood, in whose bare ass get exposed.
Felicia Zamora is the author of six poetry collections including I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2022 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. Her poems appear in Boston Review, Guernica, Orion, The Nation, and others. She is an associate professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and poetry editor for Colorado Review.