Dec 26, 2012

Stratum (Entente)

Written by Emilia Phillips

Read by Patty Paine

Watching my mother tweeze a tick from her vulva,
its body like a tumid berry drupelet vised within
the dermal pleats, inflaming them florid—
I first knew I was other, and in my otherness, felt more

for myself than I’d yet. I was ten. Separate yet tender.
Mind, nerve. On the closed commode, she eyed
the nudnik swimming in place against her and beaked
at it, spreading herself, the muumuu gathered at her bosom.

I refused to move from the cold edge of the tub,
soaking cotton in rubbing alcohol as she instructed,
though I was frightened—by her

woolly gulf and what wouldn’t let go, empathy born
swift to toothe into my softness, the sympathetic verve
that first beget the endless plump & suck of I know.