Danielle Pafunda

from The Dead Girls Speak in Unison


At the crude nest of the mouth
eggs have been
eggs have red run
eggs spilling bright damsel
flies or the crisp roe—

sediment, mineral

the albumen zombie

the shell and its wake.


We can recall in great detail
the startled thread of skin
pulled to reveal the pathogen chasm.

What we once went squeamish
ewwwwing from, it turns out
composes us.

Turned on our spindle, greasy thread
weaves the world’s pulsing pain 


Supine, we roll our eyes back
like the doll’s, and the night
is a starry dome
. The tarry

nightlike inner crust
of earth, and the stars
each one a salty maggot.

A murder of ghosts appears
on the hemlock; it’s extra deathy
but don’t be stupid, human cylinder.

There is no near to death.
There is only yes
or not            yet.fabric.
Mutton smell, deteriorating harbor,

whole flesh-filled fishy spectacle
itching away in the corner.
We recall the moment

when the knee exploded
the curse of bone-black bled
a name scrawled in ash

on the adulterous hide.
Mother, what mutton.
What kneeling has done.


We have a response
to each of your tiresome strangles.
We do clench your face

where our fists used to be.
We do yank your hair
and out so pops a stony gut.

One by one, a popping corn.
You contend each numbered girl
calls up her gunk-crammed cavity.

And you are correct.
That is the shame of living.

Post navigation