Thrash / Thrashing / Thrashed by Nicole F. Kimball


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 -                
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      

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.

© Maximus Magazine 2022

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