Categories
December 2011 Poetry

Jessica Ankeny

THE TRICK OF PRETENDING
YOU ARE NOT WRITING TO AN AUDIENCE

It must be boiled. The alternative
is burying outside or in a terrarium
with beetles but the possibility
of damage is higher therefore
boiling is recommended. Regardless,
don’t merely clean or the marrow
may rot and cause
an unpleasant odor. Pieces
of flesh and nasal cavity
will rise to the surface while
boiling, this is normal. After two
hours remove from water and use
needle-nose pliers to pull extra
muscle and brain out.
Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide.
After the bleaching is complete
mount to wood and hang on wall.

MAYBE THE HEALING THAT CAN, HAS

She’s pulling off her skin again
and hanging the strips
on the clothes line. She starts

at the armpit and tears
past the hip protruding
like a stone. Years ago I asked

why, she said I‘m opening
the doors to smell and find it.

What? I said. He told me

something was rotting in here.
I caught her re-smelling
the thigh pieces; they were cut

into little stars.
I don’t invite her over anymore.
The muscles push one another

and drip blood on the carpet
like racing stripes. You’d think
that tissue on her legs would dry

out; it’s been exposed so long.
It takes forever to clean.
I don’t have the time.

____________________________

Jessica Ankeny is drawn to the insides of things, like liver and puppet joints. She lives with her cat, Joni Mitchell, in Brooklyn.