Even a missile can’t break the spikes it uses to stab opponents. They’re even harder than its shell.
i dreamt a calcified sculpture fashioned from my own
intestines prodded the bottom of the sea.
found a groove to finger. found an eye-less beast.
found a detached shell to hold upright.
as a child i dreamt of swords
to carve an opening for entrails to trail a path
out the front door. i dream my fingers
sharpened and stone on the ends of spears.
how thankful i am for the movement of blood
as its flow stays within my callous body, thankful
for the man's shit-tipped finger as it leaves me
split. do not enter with your eyes. there is a dark
cavern in me, waiting. there is a spiked monster
there, protecting friend whose sharp jostling
reminds me of how my own cardiac current flows.
we bleed and keep the door shut. we both are afraid of light.
MARLIN M. JENKINS was born and raised in Detroit and is the author of the poetry chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press, 2020). His poetry and fiction have been given homes by Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Waxwing, and Iowa Review, among others. He teaches writing and literature at University of Michigan, where he earned his MFA in poetry. You can find him online at marlinmjenkins.com You can follow Marlin on Twitter. You can follow Marlin on Instagram.