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Jessica Tyner

Genetically Isolated Since the Ice Age

I starved myself down the wrong way
not with a wailing stomach and day-long naps
but with the kind of hunger you reserve for pure hatred (or fear)
I was an animal
gutting turkeys and chewing through the cowís gristle
pushing through bags of raw vegetables and passing
on all the offers of sweet whiskey, the good bread puddings
and perfect gin martinis with perfect slices of ice
that had kept me warm and fat
bundled in thick layers of subcutaneous blubber
for all those lonely years
I hadnít sprung up like a flower
and I didnít wither like one either
Not me, for me
it was the failing predatorís way
a flailing Kodiak bear dragging a rusted
trap in my wake so you can all see where Iíve been
until the starvation caught me
tackled me to the earth and I breathed in the musk
of where weíre all going
the embrace turning more tender
as the weight sloughed off until all thatís left
is a solid block of sharp bones wrapped tight
in a fancy pantsuit of new muscle so young
and so shiny
and so utterly unlike who I am
or who I thought I was
I donít know how to wear it right
and itís just so painfully
heartbreakingly obvious
Iím playing dress-up in a closet I donít belong

A Wednesday Afternoon

Come back home tired from the commute,
your badge forgotten around your neck and slide
into your cushion on the good couch,
the one we picked out together. Letís watch
the ridiculous people on the ridiculously expensive TV
cook ridiculously exquisite food while we hunker
over hot boxes from Whole Foods and after,
only after,
letís lie in the position every set of lovers calls their own,
your erection pressing tight against your gym shorts,
my head buried deep and hot into the crevice of your torso
and even though my tongue is still too stupid and stumbling,
even after all these years,
all I want to do is tilt my head up and tell you
while you begin to breathe the breath of the sleeping
just how goddamned beautiful you look.

©2013 by Jessica Tyner

Jessica Tyner is originally from Oregon, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer and editor for ten years. She has recently published short fiction in Indiaís Out of Print Magazine, and poetry in Penumbra, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal. She has also previously been published in Slow Trains.

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