Pulling Bastard

By Kelly Gray

Poem

Come here, monster child. I lead weary. I take your hand and look at your knees. Your ankles with flea bites, your eyes cocked.

Come here, monster child, I see you in me, give me your palm. We lick piss into prayer. We lick like our hearts are made of milk. We lick like three is infinity, but we know that it was only ever:
not like that, not like this, put that down.

Come here, monster child, with your crown of busted. Let me straighten your collar and see the underside of your chin. The place where your laughter is catapult rock. Unhinged you say, me with my sewing kit. Needles for eyes.

Two breaths like blow. Dust settles again on the shoulders. Don’t be so mechanical with your brain like a machine. Our rusted smarts. I’ll dive backwards into the pool, dreaming of gators. I offer a leg.

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Kelly Gray (she/her) is a writer and educator living among the redwood trees on occupied Coast Miwok land. Her poetry and short stories have most recently appeared or will be appearing in Atticus Review, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, Pretty Owl Poetry, Parhelion Literary Magazine, 3Element Review, CULTURAL WEEKLY, Bracken Magazine, and elsewhere. Kelly's book of poetry 'Instructions for an Animal Body' is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press and she is currently working on her chapbook of short stories examining the messy intersections of love, abuse, tiger paws and knives. To learn more about Kelly visit writekgray.com.

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