That carbuncled sailor’s fingers tangled in her hair still made her shudder;
two days of knots and coral combs don’t do much for tender scalps.
Hybrid ocean, what is the anatomy of gender? We blame it on the species
but blows still land if they land in water, grave-diving splashes
snatch mermaid locks and turn them into ropes that strangle.
How many many fingers lock grip and drop anchor
how many tides of the same? How many digits are required for permission?
We wade and billow out. Turn tail and grind seashells in our teeth.
We know the sweetest kiss:
the crunch of calcium carbonate, chipped heart pulp spitting out
like drool, like loose teeth, like iron rust and the occasional ersatz molar.
If I were a zombie, she thought scathingly, I bet
they wouldn’t be so keen to shove their cocks in my mouth.
She combed out the last of the knots, yanking hard, trying for blood.
A native Louisiana species, Terra Durio is a proud feminist poet of Lafayette and for New Orleans, where she breathes, eats, sleeps, writes, repeats. She’s currently in the process of publishing her first chapbook with Next Left Press, and her literary passions lie in the exploration of thematic crossroads between sexuality, hybridity, ecology, feminism, and regionalism.