Yellow Wallpaper* – Holly Van Hare

You, yellow-eyed snake lithe
slide in throats scared silly.
It is silly, isn’t
this commodity, mine?

Voluptuous, curved round
your neck sharp, jaw slick. I
seduced you to bed, me
to attic, to licked highs:

euphoric like blood-let,
my fainting couch that cries.
Ladies read novellas,
but no lady am I.

Your dread, I’m yours you hide.
Isolate from sisters
none speak snake tongue but I
lost an argument to

dandelions, I shout
this verdict won’t do we
can’t see the sun. Why must
I be the angry one?

Not my flaming fistfuls
of cornmeal, toasted grain;
I’d rather fill your head
empty with breasts begrimed.

Not my story to tell,
not my corn, meal, or grain
I go against; your shame
sunk, swallowed dense supper.

Shall we dine together,
oh bitter one, perhaps
sweeten this dread with wine?
Dizzy this sharp head, mine.

Bent bones rot to bedframe,
thick hair seeks thinning slime.
Cracks in paper, creasing
skin, drunk walls to ease spine.

Ceaselessly borne to sin,
my fainting couch, divine;
wrackful fire, my words
lull, marble round my tongue.

Caught red handed, I bled
accidentally, no
pleasure contrived. Stuffed hog
mouth, bloat bodice — survived.

* Perkins Gilman, Charlotte, “Yellow Wallpaper.” New England Magazine Jan 1892. Print.
Holly Van HareHolly Van Hare is a master’s candidate at New York University’s Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement Department (XE). Here, she studies education, feminism, literature, and body politics and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for her program’s peer-reviewed arts journal, Caustic Frolic. Holly has been writing since childhood and grew up in Boca Raton, Florida.