Clayre Benzadón

When the Root of Apple (תפוח) Sweetly Exhales 

separate the skin / from the apple /
manzana  / sounds like mechitza  /
mitzvah / it is a good deed /
to separate / his meat / from her milk


Ars Poetica #____

I was already thinking 
about the future

of holding 
the damn parts in place

(my arm, my breath,
your face):

the arm as practice
for blood drawn

because hospitals
scare me, 

and I’m still clutching
my stomach, 

breathe, you tell me 
so I kiss you instead

(that’s a practice
in halation of sorts)

before I catch
my throat thumping

as I merge
on the freeway

I’ve almost
fallen off

of you inches
away from bed

or your arm
has fallen asleep

from my back’s
pressure on it

before it happens
it had already occurred

in my imagination
aren’t I always


and isn’t that

what I’ve been
trying to do this

whole time
through the full

of this poem 

persuading you 
to lean

into the ladder
of me 


the most


and get you so 
worked up 

you’ll end up 


Clayre is shown, before a dark grey or greygreen upholstered surface, and a white wall. Claire has light skin and dark shoulderlength hair parted at the side. Claire wears dark eyeshadow, a necklace with a thin metal chain of warm luster, and a black tank top.

Clayre Benzadón is an MFA graduate student at the University of Miami, managing editor of Sinking City, and Broadsided Press’s Instagram editor. Her chapbook, “Liminal Zenith” was published by SurVision Books. She was also awarded the 2019 Alfred Boas Poetry Prize for “Linguistic Rewilding” and has been published in places including SWWIM, 14poems, Crêpe and Penn, and Fairy Tale Review’s Gold Issue. You can find more about her at