Paradise Riflebird

by Bronwen Brenner

Soft moths mouth / across Eve’s dark chasm /albatross / abalone / black bakelite / wool coats / linen breath / no more chrysoberyl / green in polarized light / red in incandescent / my body is an experiment / he pretends not to hear me

Grail of formaldehyde / jarred fetus / feed us / salt / the scent is jarring / zephyr / zion / sulfur / knife through my thighs / pockmarks in the flesh / they slit the bellies / replace them with rabbits / that writhe / breed / thrash their claws / teeth in my sick womb / clumped fur / ectoplasm / clot / milk left to coagulate means at least one thing is solid now / or semisolid

They paint her face with fluid / bird of paradise / hanging upside down by fat blue ankles / egret feather hatpin / exquisite / threaded through your scalp / bare feet / gale licking you bad / they will turn your breasts into bars of soap