Meghan Privitello

God as Butcher

White robed, wet pinstripes of rot,
the fashion of the quickly dead,
the blood that says I’ll let myself out.
For God, I spread my legs
until I am inverted. He sees
the mute room of my womb
and chooses to keep me that way:
not good enough to multiply.
His knife walks my thighs until
he filets them into divine meat.
The leftover flaps of fat given
to animals without tongues.
All at once a glottal chorus of want.
Everyone has an anus
that requires washing. Just say it.
We are dirty and want to be licked.
We want our cracks slicked with
spit until something golden
blooms: a sunrise, a cancer, a fruit.
God: immune to his own absent
musculature, his skeleton made
of unconscious dust. He starts us
as pleasure and ends us in cellophane.
Through the thin panes of our death,
we see that God is a weapon,
our fingerprints all over his blade.



God as Gynecologist

Now, at last, he is the one who kneels,
searches into her belly’s natural collapse
of skin and fat. What does he pray to? Pink.
Who does he worship? Himself. There is glory
in her pelvic cage, the way its shape mimes
a dead animal skull. A woman’s love is so thorough
she will adopt the skeleton of road kill
as her own design. Bones, though alive,
are our remains already buried within us.
Every day they recite our future elegies
from the inside–darling legs, darling blood, darling
death. God, when he widens her–her low land,
cousin of the moon–what does he do
but stare into her like she is a telescope,
an instrument whose usefulness is not its body
but what its body can find, what it can bring
towards the hungry eye? He squints against her
glistening dark. He looks for planets in her glow.
She asks about words that might or might
not triplet there: lesion, absence, tooth. He mutes
her like the news, uses her to look through.
If he were to put his mouth to her, if he ever had
permission (he will not), he would
speak into her like a microphone just to hear
his echo fill the room. This is how he enters her
and leaves, ignoring the heaviness of her womb
that has just conceived a bright idea of the world:
it starts and ends with a man on his knees.



Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015), Notes on the End of the World, winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition (Black Lawrence Press, 2016), and One God at a Time (forthcoming, YesYes Books, 2020). Poems have appeared in Guernica, Gulf Coast, A Public Space, Best New Poets, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, and elsewhere.