My hair is a bristly statue. My ears
are gramophones; a small dog sits
on my shoulder and cries into them.
My nose is a funnel of love. My lips
are made of wax, sweet and red and chewy.
My teeth are furry blades, chipped and rusty.
My neck is a chicken wattle, a ratchety
bobble and swing and sway. I’m looking out
for an axe.
I am always the brave one,
never fearing fathers, husbands,
brothers, and other gods.
My throat is conch shell, listen
to the city in it, the swoosh and hush;
my breasts are a trio of ringing bells.
My arms are not wings, nor a flight of angels,
nor—. My fingers are mechanical
pawls; my thumbs, blunt sockets.
My fingers are quills scratching words.
My belly is an inkwell—hips are two trains
running headlong into the dry mesa of my belly.
My knees are knocking, but no one can come in.
My feet are ready to answer
but they don’t know the secret word.
Karla Huston is the author of A Theory of Lipstick (Main Street Rag, 2013) as well as seven chapbooks of poetry, most recently Outside of a Dog (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). Her poems, reviews, and interviews have been published widely, including in the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology.