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.