I am doll parts
tossed in a dusty vanity drawer
I like to blink at pretty things
& when you scoop my doll body
into your arms I weep tiny doll tears
because you will find new ways
to amuse yourself while my porcelain
greys in my dark box—I want a lung
just one so I can smell your skin
cedar, coconut, catnip—can you smell
my dull skin? I want legs
that can move without your assistance
& I want a new dress—a black
dress so other boys can slip
it off my doll figure in the blazing
sun where I will grow taller
& eat tangerines outside of a dive
bar with my doll friends
& blink at the next beautiful stranger.
[First line is a lyric from Hole’s 1994 album Live Through This]
I pinned a star on the shadow of your shoulder.
Sheath a tongue—my tongue—your fingernail,
a perfectly carved out clover that creeps
toward my fingernail—a stone, a forsythia
damaged by stiff air, unable to bloom—
roam into the meadow, roam into its underground
tunnel where the shadows coalesce each other
like a hot, foaming stew. Things are still the same,
your mouth, a viaduct, spans for miles
& when you walk through the front door
the vines slither out of your way.
Pushing in the pin, I peer at your neck veins
pumping in & out like garden hoses,
watering the dry earth for the first time.
[The italicized lines are barrowed from Simone Muench’s Lampblack & Ash & the Yeah Yeah
Yeahs’ 2003 album Fever to Tell]
It hangs in my closet like an exoskeleton,
a snake’s shed skin, a taunt,
a haunted house burnt from the inside—
only the chalky exterior stands.
It judges me. It hums my name
through its dangly pearled hem
like a windchime—
I close the French doors in its gleaming face.
It’s a martyr flayed alive,
swinging like a deflated sausage,
drooping on the hook, drawling,
“Fill me,” in the darkest corner of my closet
where its iridescence still glows
like the time I rang in the new year,
like the time I wrung out my blood.
Sam Gennett obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lewis University. Her first chapbook, Schadenfreude, was published by dancing girl press in 2018. She currently edits for Witch Craft Magazine and resides in Chicago. She enjoys succulents, horror films, and unevenly bleaching her hair.