I have built nothing the way I built you.
Cells on cells, the juice & shuck of membrane.
Pretty beasts in rapture. It’s not any
quieter over here. No rack of snapping hands.
Your longing a wind tunnel. A pin of heat
between your crossed legs. Chin in rampant earth.
It’s not any less alive over here:
your hands among the planets & peppers.
Spattered red beads—blood or ladybugs, it makes
no difference. I’m every insect myself,
or at the very least I know how edible
you are. I knew your mother in the same way.
Licking rough nectar from the bud.
How her sharp teeth nicked the daily
bread. I have built nothing the way
I built this appetite, this huge
love. A feast of human disorder, a fitful
seeding spread. Collapsed skin
on skin. Your prayers tonguing salt & weird.
The grinding of your human want a hornet in my upturned ear.
The truth is I cannot help myself.
Emily Vizzo is a writer working in California. Her work has previously appeared in Ninth Letter, FIELD, North American Review, The Normal School, Blackbird, jubilat, Cincinnati Review and others. She was selected for Best New Poets 2015 and has previously had an essay noted in Best American Essays 2013. Poems were nominated for Best of the Net. She has volunteered with VIDA, Writers Resist LA, Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, and Poetic Youth. She is artist in residence with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and also runs a poetry and live music series, Sunday Social.