Issue 19




Do Not Think Words


Jessica B. Weisenfels





they are only little cushions
of air
of nothing

of diffusing
the late awareness

do not love the word

when it is just a word
it vibrates in the mouth

it does not make anything

it is the narrator

it is the act
of being

who translates
in transitives

intrinsic contradictions
for the moment of spin
to find the child
in the slant of light

it is in the knowing
the child
is not good
is not correct
is only child

it is not the magic
of sliding syllabication
of predicates in pixels
of levitated participles

it is not in the chemicals
it is in the thinking of things

it is the translation
made over again

to speak the failures
of itself

to make the hand
of breaking necks

to make the intrusions

to crush the bones
to bleed the knuckles
to speak shackles
to shackle

to dance the water
in drowning

to make the air
to make the aid

to say
it was never right how it was

it is in knowing
the fracture
is The Sight

it is not declarative
it is only nomenclature

it is the unnaming
of the holy things

the terror in two syllables
the woodshed of bad stories

how your great uncle laughed
as his mother kicked from rafters

how it is not
mother of god
it is god-bearer


how it does not require

a womb to bear with gods

how your father was murdered
if you are lucky

how your father left town
if you are ordinary

how your father only drank
if you are spectacular

how the ones who made you
sucked nectar from your bones

how you stood bloody
before the mirror

how everyone divorced themselves
and you were born in two

how the limbs of the concubine
become the message of your obedience

how the cricket died of the luck
of someone’s brother’s tearing

how his wife was a prostitute
who hung his skin on branches

how the myths
become your narrative

how your mother was a pure product

of chemical and flesh

how the body 
remembers the moment

how your rapists
are all husbands now

how you knew your difference
your differance

how you were alone
or lonely

how you only beat
what you love

it is not rhetorical

you are only angry
you are only adjectives

it does not make the difference
it does not speak the other

it becomes the axe
if it is very good

do not hook the oxen
the affect is the labored beast

the bad ones speak the best
because they are the freest

they are all first drafts
until they can be known

until they smooth
in the hand

until they are not the head
but the hair behind it

do not spare
the voice
the image
the fragment

but do not make a body

it belongs to no one
and no one can live in it

it is not oxygen
but oxytocin
that makes you this way

if you are lucky
it is epinephrine
it is your uninhibited reuptake

it is the contradictions

it is not a personhood

it has no blood or breath
unless it has been bled on

it is only a collection
of steady failures
of beating wings in chest

it will never live

the way you want it to

they are never wrong
until you die of them










Jessica B. Weisenfels lives in rural Arkansas where she accumulates chronic diseases and steals language from her children.  Her work has been published in numerous local publications and may also be found at 9th Street Laboratories and in Sink Review.  She has work forthcoming in Fence and MadHat Lit.   



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