how to love a wounded

lay your lips against the curve of her neck, lace into her skin the exhalation of certainty. begin with the first bones, those buried in her ear, let the waves of your voice break into their tremors. with each of her vertebrae, sing your own body into an asylum – here, your limbs a stronghold; here, brick&mortar for flesh; here, the sinew of your breath a promise

along her clavicle, braid mosaics of stories, repeat that she is not Ophelia, her lips not drowned in tacit words. repeat the pulse of her body, mirror it with your own into her breastbone, whisper antiquated words, trivial syllables that twist into threads of sound. repeat the vibrations that imbue her sternum with intrepidity.

when her breaths align, trace her ribcage in time, begin your own story, one where she remains unscathed.



            she whispers right through me / her voice luminescence fleshed into vowels and painted lips / tongue of dying stars / flickering against teeth / each word its own catastrophe that drags me into constellations / drowning the sounds not drenched in siren-light

         war is perfect in this body / these devastated hands / these fingers their own genesis / unraveling&knotting consonants into tissue / grappling with resplendence / casting shadows across her lips

             embers for my dilated pupils / they expand until she swims in light / these vacant hands are scarred with her every kiss / each palm a barren desert / fissured by malignance / the mutiny of my pulse / these muscles doused in exigence / i am obscured by her synonyms / lost in pronunciation / victim to an incandescence i cannot comprehend


Song of the Maenads

We imbibe cadenzas
intoxicated with interludes
our ribcages fused like wishbones
that midnight symposiums peel
into twigs, useless bones twisted
with roots; our broken-bodied children paint the grass,
our blood-stained fingertips outlining
our breasts, searching for heart-beat.

Swollen with motherhood,
we lay the child-bodies across the river,
eyes glazed with layers of night and sin
we breathe blue-fire concertos
through their blistered skin
and run dry our blood
festering in their veins.

Our blood-streaked breasts weep milk
into the muzzles of beasts
seeping into their flesh, stretched taut,
and creeping over the bones of their jaws.
It dribbles down their necks
and matts fur into knots.

Across this river-bed our children sink,
bones turn to fossil and sand.
We dance until they are
burned from memory.

Eleanor Rector is a recent graduate of the University of Miami where she studied creative writing and psychology; she hopes to soon pursue a degree in forensic psychology. She spends her days mocking herself, explicating the love she has for her cat, Bellatrix LeStrange, and trying to convince the world that she is actually an interesting human.

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