Swallow / Swallowed / Swallowing & Masturbating to Greek Myths

Swallow / Swallowed / Swallowing

swal·low | noun

1. a small oscine bird with a short bill, long pointed wings, & a deeply forked tail,
which feeds on insects caught on the wing.

swal·low | verb

1.  to take or receive through the mouth & esophagus into the stomach.
2.  to accept without question, protest, or resentment.
3.  to utter (as words) indistinctly.

example: i swallow my fear & it perches on the edge of this
city’s hungriest bridge / devours the sound of sunset &

disappears by morning.

example: we swallow each other’s names / supplication

quiet
prayers &

choke / on fistfuls of feathers

example: i kneel & bury him in the soft, wet
dirt/y of my mouth
like the mud plucks &
swallows our animal / bodies

how they tell us we choose this
burial / how a grave & i share

the same unclean throat.

example: the officer’s hand perches
on his gun / hands
up! [faggot] / & we must swallow
our razorslick tongues / or else

be swallowed or received
by the dirt or a jail cell

& by this i mean: we break / bird wings
off in the back of our throat

re-teach words / not to fly
before a nightstick or bullet re-teaches
our bodies / animal & sunset / flood
of red feathers pressed into the dirt

how the horizon opens
like wings [or a mouth] to swallow us

like a lover might.

 


Masturbating to Greek Myths

i am searching for porn with bodies like mine
that are not made fetish / this word for image
to pray over / word defined by deviation
from a norm / my body made false idol

+ so i am masturbating to Greek myths + how they remind me
of my chimera body + how almost every monster was just
the best parts of other animals sewn together / how i am
stitching together the best parts of woman + what i was born with

i lay back against the sheets + charybdis
both this body’s hungry mouths / let my fingers
feel what wet wreckage / what good + greedy
breaking / these can make of any body

name this sometimes-unwanted part of me—hydra
how you sever the head of a snake / + it grows again
+ it grows again            + it grows again
like this blood-hardened body / reminds me of its presence

+ in this myth / woman is born from the severance of man
my hands slur semen + sea-foam / into one word / a sound
like i am born + drowning / in myself + these sheets
body breaking the surface / mouth gasping for air

 

torrin a. greathousetorrin a. greathouse (they/them or she/her) is a genderqueer, cripple-punk from Southern California. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Black Napkin Press. Their work is published or forthcoming in Duende, Apogee, Frontier, Lunch Ticket, Assaracus, & Glass: Journal of Poetry. She is a 2016 Best New Poets, Bettering American Poetry, and Pushcart Prize nominee, and semifinalist for the Adroit Poetry Prize. torrin’s first chapbook, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm, is forthcoming from Damaged Goods Press in 2017. When they are not writing, their hobbies include pursuing a bachelors degree, awkwardly drinking coffee at parties, and trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.