Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2018  Vol. 17 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Niente, Niente, Niente

The gentle Lamb, who in such blazing love shed his life’s blood.
—Catherine of Siena

As a child, I claimed to find beauty
Not in the sky but in the dirt.
Now all that is left of my body
Is river clay and dust.

I try to purge this desire
Until I, like the sea,
Am nothing but empty.
My rib cage a hollow reckoning.

The things I hunger for most:
A stretch of moonlight, the notches
Between a woman’s spine, the salt of her.
Once I put my tongue so far inside I tasted her core.

To be hungerless is to be holy so I tried to be
If not pure then something empty,
Abalone, shell, girl, the pink matter
Of my menses, dried to only an absent scud.

At night, the stars hurt my skin.
But in the dark, I know, all dykes have halos.  

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