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Today, Worn and Broke’t, I Make Demands of my Lover

by Julianna Baggott

My legs sewn up into the bed
and the window ledge appears—welcome, welcome!

Then you, lover,
                                                 (nursemaid, murderer)
a bare chest, panting, as if your ribs
are a spoked pump.

            I wear my hair in two pointed buns,
like a great horned owl,
                               (or plastic owl barn-mounted
to fear-off vermin).
                                                            I love you
                                                Lover, I whisper,
shut your mouth-pit.
                                Play me a song on the buzznack.

Up you go and I will surely die like this,
                                                            scrawny, a-bed,
an azzardly beast,
                                            a burdalone,
if not for you—so fat and butterine.

Give me the glee-dream
                                              before the fleshtailor arrives
before I give in
                                                            to the leechcraft
                             and learn to desire the tight suction
on skin,
                                              the danzyheaded lightness
from a slow loss of blood.


Julianna Baggott is the author of seventeen books, including novels under her own name and pen names N. E. Bode and Bridget Asher, and three collections of poetry, most notably Lizzie Borden in Love. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere, and read on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. She teaches at Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program. (10/2010)

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