Body of, Born From

By Channa Goldman

There is a religion between my body,

these thighs, God’s growing wild amongst

a moon who breaks her back trying to spell out

the word for light pouring out of skin.

Hair down, belly out

I’ll lay this shell on an earthbound mattress.

I am centuries of corsets bound too tight, and

petticoats who speak suffocation to their underneaths.

My hysterias gone more holy than your Jesus—

Mary must have really missed out.

Lunar motions, cervical shifts,

I think there’s too much a universe

inside me. Claim silence to this land,

they will. A woman is just another heresy—

burn the witch, for she’ll never marry with

a mouth so much like a cavity, too much to cast

to the stars so give the flames a sister instead.

Be born of me, wicked

and in love with my original sin.

The molasses between my teeth

can only rot when my bra is too tight.

Let me out of this theatre

before I go deaf or at least,

become diabetic from all the sugar.

My own music, lady, I

taste the sweetest, remember?


When I get naked tonight, devils are due.

They’ll burn my books, and I’ll go on

writing them over.