When Told Not to Chronicle Eroticism

after Mary Szybist

If I were a classical nude, the distance
between my nipples would be

the same as from my nipples
to my belly button, the same distance

from there to the split head
of the pelvis. The body: quiet bone

construct can be charted
in the faults of its architecture.


When the eggs of a Japanese carp are endangered,
the male will suck them into his mouth

and hold them. His mouth, master imitator
of womb, makes teeth from them.

He spits them out like they are dead, finds
a new mate. To begin in the middle

he spits them out like they are dead.


Once, my mother and father slicked
their bodies together, tried to see

how far inside of each other
they could get. Maybe my father put

his fingers inside my mother’s mouth.
They attempted to create one body

from two. My father: root/glacier/bone.
My mother: earth/ocean/socket.


Gilgamesh taught bodies to fear themselves.
His own body: a ziggurat, a spirit trap.

From animal spirits the gods made a man,
Enkidu. Enkidu drank the milk-rivers

of the beasts, ate the greenness of the earth.
A temple prostitute offered her body to him

in supplication. He entered her, did not exit
for seven days. Afterwards, he was so split

from beasts that he could do nothing
but become a ziggurat too.


I cannot chart the moment
when I left boyhood. My bones

had not finished growing,
only stuck their pale heads

into the light of my flesh
and opened their mouths.

Aidan Forster is the blog editor of The Adroit Journal and the co-founder/managing editor of The Adroit Journal. He has work in The Adroit Journal, Assaracus, DIALOGIST, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Two Peach, and Verse, among others.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to When Told Not to Chronicle Eroticism

  1. Reblogged this on Jennifer Anne Champion and commented:
    So much flesh.

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