Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-nine
Winter 2015
Failure Means a Drowning Death
Kelly Lorraine Andrews

First spasms, stomach full up
and a relaxed throat where water

can flow freely, spill over a lip,
a metal milk can. The audience

plugs their noses, cheeks puffed
out and watch the clock’s little hand

descend to 6 then 8 then unbelief
someone could fold themselves

restrained and still emerge
stiff legged with wrinkled skin.

I curl your thumb and fingers
to shape the letter C, place it

just under my chin. Hold here
until my chest rises up,

grip on your wrist whitening
the skin and underneath rocking

my writhing legs the sheet bunches.
Now, soft. Now loose my sound

and I will stretch this long neck back,
let you bruise me in a new way.

About Kelly Lorraine Andrews

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