i wanted to run the knife
through sugar. with dried figs in my pockets,
i coaxed spiders from their bitterness.
taught the fox to waltz. in the graveyard,
using a tomb stone as a coffee table
we read the news & decided the world
wasn’t the world anymore. watched as
an airplane crashed into a jello mold.
witnessed the death of the final birds.
each turned into feathered tortes.
what does it mean to truly swallow?
in my chest i felt the insects
as they rebelled against destiny.
some bugs had rosary beads. some were
rosary beads. god tastes like smoke
& oranges. a pile of rind. candied scorpions
fresh from between the floor boards.
removing the stinger with two fingers.
a jar of venom. a jar of poison.
the scorpions, eaten whole, awake
inside my ankles. whispering their sugars.
trying to gasp. i want to consume
everything that could kill me. press car rides
between my ribs. swim with rocks.
ask the bear for a spare coin.
the bus route is a spaghetti zoo. no telling
what street will be the next ice berg.
one more bite & then we can head out.
teeth to the moon. cutting out lips
on the rims of soda cans. the dream
is carbonated. i am never full.
By Robin Gow
Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first young adult novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions is forthcoming March 2022 with FSG Books for Young Readers. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and Yemassee. Gow received their MFA from Adelphi University where they were also an adjunct instructor. Gow is a managing editor at The Nasiona, a poetry editor at MAYDAY, and the assistant editor at large at Doubleback Books. They live in Allentown Pennsylvania and work as a community educator on Domestic and Intimate Partner violence.