Back to Issue Eleven.

Lusus Naturae



Between the sheets, it’s the same in the forest:
thriving on quiet moments of violence,

              where we have the same tugged-on
              hair, drink from the same empty stream.

Hunt, rut, hunt. Against these mottled logs
we loom like giants, snails shells jutting

              from the bark like houses built into a cliff.
              I whisper. O how I want it, the tickle

in my shorts. The little death that presages
my inevitable resurrection. Waterfalls are only

              arresting for so long. Pin a man to moss
              and what does he learn? You, how to grow.

Me, how to worm. Green weather brings
ants from the anthill, their tiny bites tiny nicks

              of love. Or I want them to be. Without our flesh
              they’d continue their march, just as the forest

is forever full of animals we still haven’t seen.
The fox I thought I saw bleeding past my nipples

              wasn’t a fox. It was a fern. A red fern. A fern on fire.


Tory Adkisson lives in Seattle with his two cats. His poems have appeared widely in such journals as Third Coast, Colorado Review, 32 Poems, Boston Review, Drunken Boat, Best New Poets, and elsewhere.

More by Tory Adkisson: 
Orientalism,” Poetry, Issue Eleven.