Back to Issue Eleven.

That She Had Submitted




the no of thunder through the curtains   pulled back
she wakes  with eyes shut    filling the jar with oil
spoons the slow liquid & sets her tongue to work
on a gash   a bruise    swallowing her skin   backwards

she   the shape he takes   see   the window on which
he sets her    the gentle slope of her back   turns violent
in his definition   she   the shape he takes  with his hands
find her  in the draining   of water from soil


or was it fascination   the impossibility   of feet through
squeezed into the boots   to lace with greasy thumbs
biscuits in the oven  berries in the freezer  wasps in the basement
buzzing while she sleeps    in her ears   this delicate machinery

(if one limits the observation to the shape
yes   the organs are the same)

(the feculent and corrupt blood   might
be purified   with his help)

No one leaves this town / His grass for miles
nothing but milk  in the fridge   cool in the nighttime
spills to warmed skin   her skin   an object   she coughs


bad blood bad blood   infected without his    work
in swell  in thrust  find truth       find good   what’s inside
remains dark    the mattress forms to fit her    shape
the thing that remains constant    unless filled:
the good work

these ailments raise the dead     inside their tiny boxes
she remains  asleep    constant breaths   wheezing with dream
her room    he crawls into   with her   some nights

(she flips the pillow / she becomes / Him)

of what  the mattress speaks  coils reach into her back
until he falls from her    long sigh of green   see  it in the fog

Alexis Pope is the author of Soft Threat (Coconut Books, 2014), which was selected for the Joanna Cargill First Book Prize. Her work can be found in Washington Square Review, Octopus, Sixth Finch, Big Lucks, Verse Daily, Atlas Review and Forklift, Ohio, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, helps out with the ILK team, & has published three chapbooks. More info at