Lupercalia, Poetry

The fake ones eat

the bones and gristle of cats

to see the future. They drink

the blood of rattlesnakes

and wear sharks’ teeth in their

long, flowing hair.

The real ones hide in caves,

hang their dead

in cages, suck

the fallen vertebra

(when the backbone falls

like a clump of grapes)

and the cracked bodies of sun

dried tomatoes when gobs

of red blot their mouths,

where their teeth

have knocked upon the stone

floor. The woman’s eye

is an inkwell; pecked pious

and unfathomable.

She goes naked in her

sagging skin.

Listen to the recording here (as Jessica Otto).

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