Body a fragile thing
burgeoned by words

becomes a weapon
hacking and shivering
teeth expanding
throat swallowing stomach
responds— mucus and bile and membrane.

My body both house and tombstone
lies awaiting the wolf
bared teeth and all claws
skin a tent drawn tight rips and flutters
the flapping is Morse code, and
I cannot be more than prey.

Words are silent now
body an echo of nothing
tongue a red carpet
curled precariously on teeth expanding—

This body was always a fragile thing.

Gervanna Stephens  is a Jamaican poet and proud Slytherin with congenital amputation living in Canada. Her work has appeared/forthcoming in Empty Mirror, The /tƐmz/, Bone & Ink, TERSE, &,. She hates public speaking, has two sisters who are better writers than her & thinks unicorns laugh when we say they aren’t real. Twitter: @gravitystephens

Image: Filipe Faísca by Laura Veronesi (Creative Commons)