dream locket / primary tokophobia
i will clamshell for you—again, my body plays god
without me. a rainbow, the fractures of you
etch monogram through my nervous system—
veins tangled in veins, all my charms
palpitate & chainlink. your hair weaves up
into my esophagus & out through the hand-pies—
at birth, my mother recalled my body werewolf-ed
with lanugo. i imagine yours will be too.
my hearts each burn at night & scab
my organs stiller—in false-awe i wonder
what it is that makes the feast taste
of gold coins, the water all un-wined.
soon these new colors will pour invisible
from me, my orifices alight with blossoming
cranium & shoulder. which of your psychic
wounds will shine the brightest in the photograph?
for a moment i’m the seance & you’re the spirit
tipping my abdomen over, swelling my cells
& capillaries. a blood-pour, i’ll collect
what i can of you into my prettiest jar,
wear it all around my neck.
tucked away / enmeshment
dissociated, you storm me. i found myself
unable to listen to father, went coatless
by the fog-pond & paper-boated past my dearest
ghost. you make me frozen-
charlotte, a glass-nude lost
among miniatures. combing your willow-hair,
i waver. you arm me only in porcelain, a stronghold,
a hoop-demon. faux-beholden, i kiss the men
long before i am ready. we’re playing house
& we’re playing dolls & it is all only a game.
everything is lullabied & plush-fuzzed
even the dress-up trunk full of facelessness
i can try on & on, all my clothes
a costume of innocence, of your murder
eating my mind. lungless-ness beckons
to me. i pretend suffocate, suffer no food
from the weeping oven, unfed & unferal.
the good nanny saves me in this version alone.
in this version i’m older than i should be, un-sick.
i forget mother. well-martyred,
i’ll marry the man who makes me feel
like playing least.
Kailey Tedesco is the author of three full-length collections of poetry. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches an ongoing course on the witch in literature at Moravian College. You can find her work featured in Fairy Tale Review, Conduit, The Journal, and more. For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.