he waits patiently, a hound: heaving, stirring,
warming my body with contrived breath.
saliva pools where porcelain meets skin.
i am chicken liver with a beating heart and undone buttons:
nubile nightmare in crusted pink lipstick.
his plate is sterile and serene, trimmed with rope
dripping merlot along exposed thighs.
i’m twitching with expectancy, shivering
and aware of gelatin flesh wrapped in a bow—
easter dinner madonna, the icon i’ve become.
with knife and fork he dines, ignoring
the steam building atop my taped mouth,
broiling skin, like strawberry jam, nails pinching, pulling;
teeth against flushed neck, hands reaching into dry throat:
daylight surrendering to disarray.
yet i am
gamy and determined
to make my flesh useful.
a good beast.
the night in its prime
serving my lone purpose:
while i dissolve
into the floorboards
into cold hands
raising body parts
Mia Donaldson is a freshman at SUNY Geneseo double majoring in English literature and political science with a minor in the Edgar Fellows program. She plans to continue her English studies into graduate school, and can typically be found around campus reading or staring wistfully into the vast Geneseo farmland. Their interests include, but are not limited to: women, anything written by Ottessa Moshfegh or Thomas Hardy, Mitski, stompy boots, and matcha lattes.