Dwindle drown paper-mâché man carved of self carved of floor beds nail beds beds with saws for eyes gaping into you neighbor-bride many others-opened crevice- legged like circles around hips towards window onto her tongue- prey hand-play electric-hands drilling-nobs pillow misted in her flicker running Svensson or the meaning of barrette rabbit down on white coarse filmy tooth and raspberry eyes talking about the sloppiness of my chin in my mural I wear pinky finger banged serrated shanked stuffed in closet seven by six the decaying animals and his friends carrying muscles like fragile hap piness fire-flamed chameleon covering coverings covering ringlets knotting like cleaving of bicycle -riding, outside willow bending for- wards not from the wind but the cold touch, adults as probing, taking the crown outta my mural taking my ears outta hearing
Swinging kite-flier breast-mother blubber-neck woman carved out of girl- mucker weeds of iris covered by pants woman carved out of my girl I sit with house-down-the-street tall like anglo-saxon men needling mechanical- fingers courage-sealed in froth as yellow-light- ning yolk along the shingles I smell something strange so I take her outta my pockets where she goes to pray at night hoping no one else is stupid enough to tell and he is that of those tree-boy bloodied-tongued lean mother - fuckers that sucks the peeholes of kite-flying irises burnt- bread rummage and money honey burying in teal just as I head south for that train on sixth taking me to the stairwell, taking me to the crawling snakes where I believe the ashes turn gray
And [and] just then the lightbulb twitched [ ] I came on. This mural I make of me, glass - round curves softening my body to become new flowers where my teeth meet the grooves of this life, and where we go after. I gaze past myself. Out into the breaths, into the daring. Hand is no hand; print. is the palm I carried names in, other names for me. Foot is no foot; print. Is how I walked. dreams of seeing wild things; changing things. Black- eyed susans cluttering the earth and pink flamingoes pink feathers in the skies. Mary Ellen, Tabitha, the good will praying gives you, clotting the wounds like the tides of rolling hay. My mural is not religious, or believing in ghosts, it paints itself as I get naked, to arrange dis embodied black and blue flowers, blurring into [what is and what is not rape] the negative like rice into gullies, [retna] [juvenile] [ ] I teach myself anatomy, all those moments I didn’t know my body and the meaning of barrette that murmuring place I go to once all of this passes
Nicole F. Kimball (she/her) is a Jewish bisexual poet from SLC, UT. Her pieces are published in Sunspot Lit, Mom Egg Review, Sky Island Journal, 12 Mile Review, or are forthcoming. She has an A.S. in Creative Writing and was the recipient of the Pat Richards Joe Beaumont Scholarship. Nicole is proudly neurodivergent, and is a submission reader for Seaglass Lit.