Mitchell Angelo


Before there were men, there were hours

of limbs on linen and imaginary cherry-bombs.

Great marble bodies outstretched in heat. Orchids

tied to bed posts. I was the first infant with an appetite for rats.

A goat’s head hangs above my mattress. She wears a prayer over her horns.

I cannot name things I do not love

so she is only a goat. In my sleep I name her after myself. In my sleep

I am only a goat.

Before there were men there were moths. Before all this

Skin. Before there were words for things like this. This body.

A hideous carnation. A marriage of carnivores. Still flesh

cannot thrive without father, so in which organ shall we bury him?

Once I knew a river so shiny I grew gills.

Fish are filthy liars, and with all these bones

I’ll never swim. In my sleep I am only a fish. I’ll lie

so flat and so still on the water’s surface you’ll think me a lily pad.

Mitchell Angelo is a junior Creative Writing major at SUNY Purchase, with a focus in poetry and a minor in Theatre & Performance. His work covers topics like gender, the environment, and anything pancake shaped.