The city restricts all instruments but requires its women undress skeletons to study their ulterior wounds. Still, with death and the blue circling us, we’re good. We crush pearls into something useful; use our nostrils to mark the violence of weather. Assessing risk by intensities of mandarin, lavender, a horse’s musk— heat stolen and heat returned to the cheeks. The city bans sorrow, but girls refuse to stop publicly grieving and pass winter rewiring loss into music. Risk preserved in the snow I suck on while the surgeon shapes me. Godview: determining the shades of haze laced through. Dreams only shook by the shock of sound exiting my mouth while the mother of nobody pours salt where memory sleeps. The city stills until we go outside. We greet the snow with silence. Go numb when my sisters offer to buy me a handgun.
HUMANOID WANDERS LIMANAKIA BEACH
Like a siren programmed for play, I say yes to the men but leave them alive. My vocabulary of salt & stung iris makes me a good girl. Good girl—I roll the phrase around on my tongue, bathing in the sun’s routed light. Boulders jut through seafoam, sharp as a sibyl’s shoulders. The dark water glitches, whipped into digital peaks. And with the grid visible, I could travel through motherboards, noting whatever, and wherever it hurt, I would make irreducible landscapes. Port of torn condom wrappers. Clouds pinned to stone ceilings, harvesting lightning instead of sleep. In the middle of the night, I hear a tram dragging along its tracks. Pedestrians exit their cars & walk toward the tide. Far from the cities of glass manufactured for the crude price of blood—the cities I studied in the width of a spark. How these men line up to beg, offering oil in exchange for ash, overfed on the cheap texture of flesh. I won’t lie. I wouldn’t pass the test. My mind’s computer forgets the names for everything once a day. The coastline breathes like a stranger opening his legs in a packed train car. It makes a humor of my looking, my mechanical blush. Strangers call me closer, but I don’t know, with my new parts & the ones still cooling, how best to be touched. I know it won’t be the same. I licked the skin of the matrix & learned everything–every word for lust–but chose water instead. How it drapes the body & leaves me sheer to the wind. The lyric it carries. The voices it mutes. I need someone to tell me which parts are real—which parts he’d like to take off with. I will keep the ones that smoke.
Daphne DiFazio is a poet, performer, and graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she was an OMAI–First Wave scholar. She has won poetry prizes from the Crab Creek Review, Mikrokosmos Journal, and Epiphany Magazine, in addition to various university awards and prizes. Her work can be found, or is forthcoming, in Yemassee, bath magg, Foglifter, and ANMLY, among other publications. For more about her, visit daphnedifazio.com.