THE WAY DEATH VALLEY HOOKS LOW UNDER YOUR POCKED AND TOOTHY RIBS / SNAGS AND PULLS YOU OPEN / GETS AT THE SOFT MEAT OF YOU / NO NOT THE PLACE BUT THE SONG / NOT THE SONG BUT THE HEAT / TURNS YOU INTO A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD MECHANISM / SOMETHING RIFE WITH FRICTION / SOMETHING THAT GRINDS HARD AGAINST THE YEARS THAT SMOTE IT / THE STRIFE THAT WROTE IT / THE WAY YOU REMEMBER BELIEVING NOT IN ANYTHING BUT IN SOMETHING / NOT IN SOMETHING BUT IN THE MEMORY OF SOMETHING / HOT WIND IN YOUR FACE / EXHALATION OF SOME MINOR GOD ENGINE / A MALIGNED ENTROPY / A NAME OF BLASPHEMY ALREADY LOST / BUT KEPT ATOP YOUR HEAD ALL THE SAME / THIS IS THE PALACE WHERE WE MIGHT EXIST / THE PLACE WHERE BOUNDARIES SUDDENLY COHERE / AND FORM IS GRANTED TO OUR SHAPELESS / I AM SORRY FOR MY DREAMS / I AM SORRY FOR HOW THEY HAVE CAUGHT YOU / ONE DAY I PROMISE / I WILL FINALLY KEEP A PROMISE
God/The State/Pain Sends a Final Demand of My Transsexual Body
Unravel. The echo prostrates itself
over the balcony edge of your petulant
vindication. Unravel, commands the constant
gut microbe yearn. Something genetic and visceral. Something
to make you puke. Something digestive
and digesting. Unravel unbuttons
your collar, shaves your scapula, cracks and marrows
the spotted red bowl of your agonied pelvis,
scraped empty-narrow by twenty-two ravages of time.
Unravel is like a hound. By which I mean it is like a stalker.
Meaning it is an old friend
who you desperately want to forget was something much worse.
Pray for peace. You could outpace a past, but the faster you run,
the louder the snap when you finally bend speed
too far back. Unravel keeps chasing. Unravel wants
to climb inside of your skin, fill up
your little wet cavities, pushing
out any of the gaps, filling your fingers with
itself, replacing your teeth with itself,
pushing out your eyes with itself.
but this, says unravel.
Become something synthetic with desire.
Syncretic of the liars. Systemic like the fires.
More, demands unravel. Peak trying moment.
Peak attempt hours.
Unravel demands you seethe.
Unravel demands you cope.
Unravel demands you mald. Cringe
like salt on your cornea. Flinch like
something else on your something else.
Unravel shrieks in the voice
you wish you had. The resonance you don't deserve.
Unravel aligns the crystals of your body,
turns them into cleaved little bitches
with a stark mark of plastic snidery.
Something else, it says.
You are something else.
Unravel, demands unravel.
Nora Hikari (she/her) is a disabled Chinese and Japanese transgender poet and artist based in NYC. She was a 2022 Lambda Literary fellow, and her work has been published in Ploughshares, Palette Poetry, Foglifter, The Journal, The Washington Square Review, and others. Her hybrid fiction, KISS ME FAST, was featured in the Wigleaf Top 50 for 2023. She was a reader at the 2022 Dodge Poetry Festival. Her chapbook, The Small Lights Of Her Heart, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2023. Nora Hikari can be found on twitter and instagram