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20. Featuring: April Bratten

Including:

Aleathia Drehmer: Painted Post, upstate New York, USA + Mark Floyer: Hampshire, UK + Kate Hinds: Stanley, UK + S. Jalal Mousavi: Iran + Alec Newman: Newton-Le-Willows, UK + Anna Nowok: Berlin, Germany + Felino Soriano: California, USA

Legs

I finally decided to shave my legs
somewhere outside of Baton Rouge,
just as your head (lookin’ like a
rusted skillet) swung toward the road.
You rubbed your bear-like belly,
complained, complained,
of the hunger and the peas and rice.
I said what does it matter, I can’t cook nohow.
The sun started spillin’ just then,
poured like a smooth liquor over my calves.
I found a flat sharp stone and
chiseled at the coarse hairs.
You pointed your toes toward the north.
I decided to make a bed right there,
on the side of the road, somewhere outside of Baton Rouge,
in the sparse grass, inside the weeds,
and small nippled rocks.
You burned like a kerosene lamp on a hill.

Machine

The strict shape of a bone is masculine.
It will sit in your hands like a tiny god
with structure and purity.

Its perfectness can be brought and held
to a white wall, white bone,
where wall meets bone’s eye stare
and they both swear their beauty is distinct
and all their own.

On a perfect bone there are no red corners to clean,
there are no wet drooping parts to untangle.
You rip them from your body.

Bones now fly, striking that white steel wall,
and splintering out perfect miniature ones too.
From the body,
obscene white jut out
without a single blood drop.

You do not scream.
  You become dead matter.
  You are machine.