7.08 / August 2012

Two Poems

What We Bury

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After she left the second time
I spent my nights
in front of a glowing screen
watching women undress
down to her shoulders,
her breasts,
her hipbones,
crying and pulling
at my cock, hoping
to sever her sex.

                                        And when this did not work
                                        their shoulders
                                        broadened, their breasts
                                        shrank, their hipbones
                                        became like mine,
                                        and I watched men
                                        pull at their cocks
                                        as I cried and pulled
                                        at mine, hoping to sever
                                        my sex, since I could not
                                        sever hers.

                                                                                And when this did not work,
                                                                                I reached down
                                                                                where I had not reached
                                                                                before, and touched
                                                                                where I had not touched
                                                                                in a way I had not
                                                                                before, and did not feel
                                                                                empowered, did not feel
                                                                                any more found.

Waist Deep

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Videos rarely show
the protest.

Fire and aftermath:
I hear ash

Watch the spine’s hollow wick catch
the flames of black bones,

irises murky and
darkened with dense blood.

We never saw the earthquake,
the landslide pinning

what could be branches
but are body parts of a family.

I show my students photographs
of a girl trapped waist deep in mud,

the body sinking into flames,
skin flaking and fluttering away

in ashy scales:
try not to breathe them in.

Jacob Victorine is a performance poet and MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches undergraduate Writing & Rhetoric. A member of the 2011 Jersey City National Slam Team, his poems have appeared in Muzzle Magazine and two Uphook Press anthologies. He hopes to one day be Yasiin Bey.
7.08 / August 2012