the Venus download
By Dessa Bayrock
It starts so like a dream,
wet, sinking, into and between my limbs
like someone drowning.
—the flesh, the flash,
like an eye—
What is the heart but the curl
of your cursive, the cut
of my chicken-scratch, this curve
like middle distance—something
bending into nothing?
unlikely, unwieldy, vanished
or vanishing with the light—
—and desire like a lump
of marinating flesh, defrosting,
drained for dinner—
Little bird, did you think this flesh
was a flower, these bones hollow
and filled with nectar?
O heart of mine, your freezer-burned creases
will eat me up from inside out—carcass
or caress will be the death of me.
And who am I to trap you in this burning body,
this ribcage of a parlour, this ventricle
like a cuff around your neck?
She cracks desire like a nut
and eats the meat.
By Dessa Bayrock
Yesterday I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap
and could barely eat it—the orange-blood sauce
against crisp ceramic—somehow inedible, delicious—
and I wolfed it down—disgusted—sated—
my mouth raw—recoiling—
Last night I flipped open a novel,
caught sight of the word harvest
and shut the book quick, nauseous
at the idea of separation, at the idea
of knives and forks digging into a body—
To tell you the truth,
lately I've been terrified
of anything, really, cut or divided—
the ragged edges of skin and bone—
Last night I dreamt of decapitation—
a whole world on their knees
or else with their heads torn off
and all that blood soaking into the carpet—
dripping crimson and orange
on the pure white tile
of the bathroom floor—
Dessa Bayrock lives in Ottawa with two cats and a variety of succulents, one of which occasionally blooms. She used to unfold paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada, and is currently a PhD student in English. Her poems have appeared in IDK Magazine, Poetry Is Dead, and Spy Kids Review, among others, and her work was recently shortlisted for the Metatron Prize for Rising Authors. She is the proprietor of post ghost press. You can find her, or at least more about her, at dessabayrock.com, or on Twitter at @yodessa.