Not Now – Emily Vizzo

Swimming into deep leeks,

my feet a tailfin, the fish of myself

prickling light-motes.

The smell of pear & bone,

The maw of a dog delving my neck.

The way an apple or a knife tastes.

You finding me the way a flood

finds a canyon. The way I understand myself

is a piano tipped over, the way music is a first wife

wherever music lives.  I unbelted you

beneath the beak of the moon. Marigolds

broken from the hose. Something about the way

you lift me free from a yellow bathing suit.

My skin slaps the rock of the deck. I’ve forgotten

nothing, not even how to unzip your name.

The uneasy bird of your sex flying into me,

smashing into windows, hitting a blind head

where there is nothing to find, nothing new,

U-turns & dead ends. Shaking nothing loose,

nothing free at all. I want to feed you milk

by the teaspoon, I want to retrieve my bathing suit

from the complex pool drain. I want something to

happen, so that the deck is not alive w/ the curved-needle

beaks of dead birds. The smell of the Pacific is so

cold in March. I forget that my inside self

is the bottom. When you speak of love

my tongue is caught in a hive of red threads.

The way children hide fishing hooks inside a sandwich

so that a gull become a tortured kite. How once you

have bitten, you will hang. Birds flying out of me,

anything that is believable drenched.



emily vizzoEmily Vizzo is a writer and educator. Her essay, “A Personal History of Dirt,” was noted in Best American Essays 2013, and she was selected for inclusion within Best New Poets 2015. Frances Goldin Literary Agency represents her novel, and her chapbook, GIANTESS, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2018.

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