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burying the illness corpse | Zoë Koenig

burying the illness corpse

name the hole in your bed after yourself
know every way to unhinge, mask, swallow, deadbolt,
bridge, burn, bridge, burn, bridge, burn

let the word “why” swell in your mouth
until it evicts your tongue, your bite,
spit it onto the chest of your lover

do everything softly enough to be an apology
or a burial
do not dig yourself out

allow him to trample you when he calls himself forgiveness
forget that you do not need to be forgiven for anything

be what rots the fastest
sleep naked with the door unlocked
in the deep end of a sorrow you know now as

say, “it’s okay”
when you mean, “i’ve been swimming for so long
that i do not know the concept of shore”

love your hands best when they’re empty,
the flowers most when they’re wilted

pretend you have survived everything
even though you have survived nothing,
left a corpse in every room

give birth to silences, name them
Erode or God or I’m Still Out Here Looking For You

want for a man to leave his teeth in your lungs,
to make your skin his skin,

crave that everything be served to you violently,
each day punched into your chest

crash the car
will the pavement to dance itself out of your throat

let only the men who don’t ask questions touch you
some things are impossible to say
you know this better than anything

About Zoë Koenig

Zoë Koenig is currently a student at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin majoring in Critical Identity Studies and Literary Studies. She was the 2014 Wisconsin Youth State Slam Champion.

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