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Photography by Adam Coleman

my phantom limb

has a mouth

where the knee

bends

teeth like razors

that bite in night

when the earth

falls still. sugar

in the grill

that burns hot

on the calf.

i started feeding

her oysters. trade

for the fleshy meat

of my thigh

sometimes she eats sand

a dog that bites

the hand

as I offer grapes

and day old bread

and moths that fold

around the lamp

at my bedside

At 4 and 5 and 6am

her stomach growls

I flip the switch


she’s getting hungrier

all the time

her smile puckering

as I slide lemons

between the sheets

haul a tire I found

in the road

something to tire the jaw


she crushed light bulbs

in her fangs one night

nervous as she looked toward the dog

“No you can’t have her,” I said

a snarl

i brought her a raw steak

from the fridge

But her appetite

it grows and grows.


the next night I bring her a whale

that’s been beached

i wake inside its skeleton

and she’s happy and fat

and sleeping

but tomorrow

her hunger returns

and I feed her a house

and the books that live inside

i drag great humps

of lawn

to her feeding place

buckets of sea water

to wash down her thirst

i bake her a birthday cake

lick the frosting

she eats the candles

without making a wish

i tore down the ceiling fan

and she crushed it in one bite


i fear I’ve made her stronger

with all the fuel

feedings becoming more frequent

battery acid oozing down

her knee-like chin

her latest meal:

the television remote

i didn’t need to watch it anyway


i fed her a bar of soap

scrub your mouth

dirty girl,

i thought

she laughed and burped bubbles

i’ve never heard her speak


I fed her the tiles

from the bathroom shower

and hangers thrown one by one

i fed her a blade

i fed her the sun


i fed her a rope

and a roll of film

a stack of letters

followed by the mailbox

a flashlight

a box of pins

i fed her a scream

i fed her a laugh

and a piece of my arm

take that

and this

and this

and that

and this

and this

and this


i fed her my fist

and the left side of my chest

and my heart thumped

in her throat

finally I crawled inside

her jaw

take my wrist

my neck

my waist

my hip

take my sleep

and my sorrow

and my hair

and my chin

take my me

so that I may rest.


she clamped down

and I became air.

a little hiss

as I became atmosphere

Find me in your astronaut suit

and in the balloons

at the party

find me in your soup

and in your lungs

and your loaded gun.

find me in the suitcase

hovering over the dish soap

I’m living here

and there

and there

and here

and there

and here

and here

and here.

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