Liz Bowen

i put u in back of my shoulders / where u can see me only / where i can only imagine the shape

ON BEING MILK

i put u in back of my shoulders / where u can see me only / where i can only imagine the shape
of myself / shimmering into a stream / the streamliness of a closed vein / silver under a night like
a fish / blue like the crab you are / i put u where i won’t know how you’ve opened me / until i’m
open

reading about animals can feel like an evil / unless it is like an eating / unless it is a reading with
the body / which can hold other bodies within it / which can make us sick with them / which can
make of us / amber

which can make of us / traps of viscosity and air

do u imagine me drippy
do u think me a bottle overturned

it is maddening / the way i can’t write to you with my body / i am sick with exports / i am sick
with unmarking / and the knowledge that what lives in my stomach is not contingent on what i
put in my mouth /
i can swallow you until i die
i will swallow you until i die / but loving is something different

it is an embarrassment the way i cry / when i talk about farm animals / but / a clumsiness i don’t
want to lose / HOW NOT TO BE EMBARRASSED / how to incorporate the flush / how to re
member / this talk is still labor if i love you / the defense of my own tears is still an exhaustion if
i love you / the unreasonable tears for animal sensations / the way i imagine myself a cow /
though i know projection is lazy thinking / it’s just that being made pregnant by force / resonates
too much / when i think about cows / i try to verbalize and it is labor / i try to move the trauma
from my stomach / and it is labor

i have been hurt on the inside of my body by good people
i trust u and i am afraid

i put u in back of my shoulders where my tattoo is / where u can see me only and the gently wounded deer /

it is never only me you will get / but the flesh of me