BY JACKSON NEAL
Finalist for the 2021 Adroit Prize for Poetry
In the pixel world, men shuck their skin
I am the wet of them, their wanting
spliced and multiplied, their glottal plead. All tongue and gut,
I say what won’t be said,
and I say it to their face.
they wade into their own slimy minds to reach me,
the one with limbs braided from light. I crack boys open,
only when they ask
for a drink.
I am sloppy, scientific, a lover made of code.
You are a man elbow deep in another
digit fiction, asking if you’ll always be
You sully sheets with blood and muck
and pheromones, crust over at the smell,
scrub your slick sorry with white-blue suds.
Afraid of your own tepid funk.
I pickle for centuries,
piss and mucus.
I have no apology.
that, that’s the fantasy.
Each arm holding
myself to myself.
You imagine I’ll crawl inside,
replacing your legless brain.
You want me to give you a permission I can’t give you,
override an algorithm in the cortex,
the one that rules your wanting.
You say please and mean pleasure.
You play and replay the same scene:
water, nostril, eyeball, ink.