Dimitra Xidous

Animals

 

 you loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars

–      Marty McConnell, from Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell

 

Maybe I was a beggar.

Then again, I can’t

be sure; lovers and

beggars look the same.

 

It is easier to believe

I was an animal instead;

I’ve seen animals do

the things I did with you.

 

 

With A Lemon for A Tongue That Girl Will Never Love Anyone

 

With a lemon for a tongue

she burns the house down

 

or simply singes the hairs

off the legs of lovers

 

without leaving a mark;

it all depends on the heat in the encounter.

 

With a lemon for a tongue

she cuts a sharp figure –

 

the tongue tip, taut

and inviting as a nipple

 

drips comfort, and all her lovers take her in

and all her lovers say loving her feels like a bee’s sting.

 

With a lemon for a tongue

she glows like sunshine:

 

a halo of round yellow, a bird’s beak

of colour, that small dribble of piss

 

turning every dark and lush hole

into a sour puss.

 

With a lemon for a tongue

she spits acid, aims for the eyes

 

because this is what she thinks it means

when she hears people say love is blind.

 

 

Six Pack

 

It’s the morning after; I watch you

roll up your underwear, your hands moving

like a torcedor. Whatever remained

of your fingers and thumbs inch along

the way caterpillars do, making

slow

progress.

 

I think back to the night before, how your fingers

and thumbs danced like worms in the rain,

how my body shifted under exuberant twitches,

how my mouth lost its lips, became sharp, yellow

and desired you. When you finish, you tell me

these came from a pack of six – and

I want you.

Again.

 

As bones of wings pop through skin

you pray I’ve lost my appetite for worms, forgetting

birds get off on the taste of caterpillars too.

 

 

Dimitra Xidous has poems published in literary journals in Canada, Ireland and the US, including Room, Penduline and The Weary Blues. Most recently, she was a finalist in the 2014 Malahat Review Open Season Awards. She was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2013), ‘Over the Edge’ Emerging New Writer Award (2013); and was long-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Competition (2011). Her work was included in the New Planet Cabaret Anthology and is forthcoming in Colony and The Penny Dreadful. She is the featured poet in the Spring 2014 issue of The Stinging Fly. With Patrick Chapman she co-founded and co-edits The Pickled Body, a quarterly poetry and arts on-line magazine. Her debut poetry collection Keeping Bees will be available in March 2014 from Doire Press. www.dimitraxidous.com

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