Wren Hanks

Doomsday Circuit Tour (Sermon 2)

I’m in a leather bar 

                        where the men slip their arms around my waist.  

I slough them off     ride the train of bubbles 

          coming up my esophagus.  
                                                                     I’m spitting sea

calling a leviathan butchered, salted   long wrapped up tight   beneath the organ pedals.

            He’s pulling himself together.  

                                                                     You hear me, boys.

Mary’s nowhere to be found    nowhere and everyone.  

                        Turn your face to mine         pale as a conch   

                                                                                                  I can be the last thing you see

The Salted Serpent Speaks

What you call a sculpture is my spine,
my vertebrae bored for candlesticks,
filed into the handles of kitchen knives.

I am long dead, my hundreds of ribs
coated with honey,
packed in chests between layers
of sheep skin.

Meat buried unwrapped
so far beneath the earth,
piecemeal so I couldn't
find my way back together.


Mary holds my head
in her girlfriend’s room.
The light whipping against
my beautiful eyeholes.

Fish once lost their minds swimming
in front of these eyes,
but Mary puts her hands
inside my skull, asks how I became
the size of a common lizard.

Mary scrapes the salt off my preserved flesh.

I am buried underground in two hundred pieces
inching their way toward common dirt.

Mary scrapes the salt
off my preserved flesh—

every piece of me can feel it. 


Wren Hanks

Wren Hanks (formerly Jennifer) is the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press). A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow, their poetry and nonfiction appear or are forthcoming in Arcadia, Gigantic Sequins, Bone Bouquet, The Boiler, Permafrost, and elsewhere. They were a finalist for the Heavy Feather Review Double Take Poetry Prize, judged by Dorothea Lasky, and have two chapbooks, gar child (Tree Light Books) and Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press), forthcoming in 2016. An Associate Editor for Sundress Publications, they live in New York City and tweet @corsetofscales.