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TWO POEMS

Reboot of Aliens to Cast Myself

I am daughter of the place you long to set dry fire to. Steel slats buckling

with acid, eviscerated

wire. This place that

ribbons terror,

where lingering repeats that nothing

soft was meant to be here.

Not-dead girl whose bones marrow

slightness and neglect, my survival slow erosion,

disintegration: not erasure. Mouthing an act at night. I didn’t want to grow up as a quiver

and therefore never grew. In the film I scramble through air ducts, whisper

steam

to cook monster tails. Bite swarming as a

feast. My body wanders and nothing

that I do isn’t ghost. There’s a

scene where I’m dead-named

by silence:

it hugs my face, juts long

pauses in my mouth. In the

next scene

it’s killed, its blood used for

mascara deep enough to bend

light,

that burns my lids and can’t be smeared. In the film my hair up, wearing something diaphanous

while pressed into a sightless drone. Kiss the queen with flame, burn her eggs. I take her place.

what starts a list poem about OCD

• becomes sliced apple on

toothpick

               tossed into the

               ocean;

• pillbugs stuck to

billboards

              and wriggled

              punctuation;

• index definitions of the

verb

           to be for latitudinal

           study;

• because mine rhymes the

broken

        push-lock in a public

        bathroom;

• because predictable mentioning

locks

         when writing about

         obsession;

 

• in Obsession, a man apologizes for the wait

            time at a restaurant until his wife                  explodes;

• until her body made from bits of

paper

            drifts down to him like

            snow;

• the scene a dream to

everyone

            except the

            man;

• perched inside my chest a

vulture

             that I arrow when it

             feasts;

• its crooked beak-smile

when

              I penetrate its

              wing;

• its head nestles in my

arm,

              we stack spines of roadkill into                      columns;

• in Obsession, the man can’t stop

erecting

              monasteries to stop his late wife’s                  dream-death;

• he can’t stop waking as a felled

tree being hollowed as a flute;

• saying sorry spells a lover’s

name

             and indicates a

             question;

• when say means whip across a small of back;

• navigating somewhere between its blood-jet

            and disaster of my

            mouth.

CD Eskilson is a queer nonbinary writer, educator, and editor living near Los Angeles. Their work has appeared in Teen Vogue, the Cardiff Review, After the Pause, and elsewhere. They are an associate editor for the Exposition Review. They also like reenacting David Lynch movies and drinking coffee.