“The Place Before Crossing Over” by Kailey Tedesco

I am in a place with fox hides
firing against the side of
my soaked back–

I think that I am a rose
with holiness, or else
rapture flowering

from me in expulsions. The act
of lounging half
way through this hole

is violent & I am not sure
when I last spoke
with mother on the telephone,

but I’m interested
in hot winds & forest animals
whose mouths drip & scroll

like mirrors. The art
of becoming myself parallels
the first time I touched myself

in that both carry the medium’s
apathy towards death as a cover
for her wish that death,

like everything else,
might crack up sometime
& glimmer off like flame–

licked loti riding
the cackle of sea.

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