Poetry: "I Am Doll Parts" & Other Poems

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.