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Sara Wainscott

[Lovely as a rainbow trout I imagine]

Lovely as a rainbow trout I imagine
as words you use to compliment my looks
though you neglect to. Thou art a rose
you also neglect to use, though surely you intend to
floralize me for I art. People who read
poems understand a rose
is how to drag in genitalia.
Let me save some trouble: I have it:
a worn-out beauty of a cunt:
folded, tanned, and stitched
like the leftovers of a taxidermied cat.
Of course I love you

for love admires its reflection. My next life:
brine collecting in a mollusk's shell.

[Brine collecting in a mollusk's shell]

Brine collecting in a mollusk's shell
is a living anyone can earn,
though I prefer the richer temptations
of regular pay. Products at times I mistake
for sculpture: existence quite pristine

when living's not a bother.
Everywhere waiting is expected
I take a book which does not bother anybody.
Lab-grown ears embedded into arms like ticks
raise fattened whorls below the skin.

My head has a factory face and inside of it
a handsome white man screams into a microphone
about salacious things that can result
when girls sit in parked cars.

[When girls sit in parked cars]

When girls sit in parked cars
they turn to fish because the breath gets heavy.
Soft, what man through yonder window

shows his cock on a public bus?
A ribbon-tongued person might generate
strands of triangles in place of arms:

looks are subject to other people's faces
if other people can be trusted.
Other people I do not like

because my deep self-loathing
extends to anyone who appears to find
the world a normal place to live.

Breath gets heavy: it's so easy
to pretend to be asleep.

[To pretend to be asleep]

To pretend to be asleep
aggravates the cash flow problem.
I quit the good jobs and keep the stupid ones
because of my distaste for real work.
Cheekbones earn sweet talk

and they deserve it: before a party
I slap my face to help it seem to flourish:
flowerish I attend a party but then of course
I must attend a party. A painting of a princess
is a knock-off grocery girl / is a rare Da Vinci.

To rise to any occasion imposes on me.
I'm as sensitive as a poet: as a rose
languishing in a photograph
of Jackie Onassis.

[Jackie Onassis]

Jackie Onassis
a summary in flowers of my feelings
could overflow a field. Out for a breakfast
of cinnamon toast I

overflow again: all I do of late is flow.
How sorry I feel for people
living in shrubs of plain red roses:
a scant breeze blows them

into a storm drain. Jackie Onassis
I adore the way you feel
me out, how superlative we look together

pressed into a book. On a horse
or shuddering wide our legs for childbirth:
an example of how to behave.

[An example of how to behave]

An example of how to behave
given herewith: if thick thorns prick
right through these heavy
clothes—the hoary vintage
of this coat: delight is free to me.

How self-satisfied am I
to withhold what is only mine
by cramming it tight into a crumb-lined purse,
a drawstring satchel, a battered box:
to give some of my delight to you.


A kitten in a pet shop window
I pleased to raise on milk / at home.

Vein-blue milk a violet scratch
welling up a rose-red dew.

[Welling up a rose-red dew]

Welling up a rose-red dew
on Mars / my bedroom
dead west faces down each day
phlegmatic prisms on a wall.

Copping out in dreams I leave the house
because I could come home

and settle / well could I
wide-eyed learn
complex novel tasks like bees
performing mazes of a human face.

Dead cool like Freddy Mercury
infrared goggles filtering my room,
light hearts under martial law
meddling at locked doors.

[Meddling at locked doors]

Meddling at locked doors
because I little care for signage:
I leave directionality to migrating geese
and all the heavy shit I leave
for movers. I go
down on you in the shower
but not because it's shown in the stars.

In the shower you think of me
but I am someone else
who prefers a cell to a cold bed.
Red-dyed cells perform rapid divisions
and townie girls drive down Division: taking mains.
It is a two-way street and snow makes plain
the interplay of traveled hearts.

Sara Wainscott has recent work appearing or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Powder Keg, Unsplendid, Masque & Spectacle, Your Impossible Voice, The Account, and elsewhere. She co-curates Wit Rabbit, an inter-genre reading series in Chicago.