AT A YOUNG AGE, YOU SWALLOW EVERYTHING

within sight, and you swallow it in alphabetical
order, starting with: agoraphobia,
the active voice, alligator skin kitten heels,
the burning in the middle of the month (the one
that reminds you of the babies inside your baby
body), bubblegum, bubblegum for years,
bubblegum for decades filling
your gut with what should be food, or cum,
or cunt, or whatever your teenage
dreamy baby body can handle, dreams (of course
you swallow them, and will keep swallowing
them until there are none left to take down
into your dull dopey mouth),
everything, everything,
you swallow everything (and more),
and dirt and earth and this is how you
become bigger and smaller in the same
moment, everything,
the weight of foreplay, forever,
fingering the soft dimples of your belly,
you swallow your belly, you swallow
your gift, your gills, the hills
behind the house where a tornado
came and swallowed more
than anything you had already
stuffed in your mouth, you swallow I,
you swallow eye, you swallow jailbait
and a hung jury and Juniors and Seniors,
you swallow Kathleen Hanna, you swallow her
voice, her Lyme’s, her love,
her loam, and maybe you swallow
forgiveness, you swallow maybe,
you swallow midnight, you swallow never,
you never swallow anymore, an open mouth
empty and waiting for oil and water,
you swallow, paying for it with every enamel
bone, you swallow quintessence and
essence and every single day you swallow
a fucking rainbow, you swallow rain, you swallow
so much for that slap, that wrist,
that treacherous swallow that keeps
the garage empty to find your safety
and swallow it, whole, violent,
virulent, the swallowing of
the cross, the swallowing
of the xylum in your throat,
your you, your zipper
that holds your mouth together.


Krystin GollihueWhen you Google Krystin Gollihue, you will find pictures of her dog and an article about poetry graffiti. She has poems all over space-time and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she is reading area pets their horoscopes. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram as @phenomenoem.

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