Self-Portrait as a Melanoma
No one witnessed my monthly wound
once the scars had healed. I retrofitted my household
with architectural antiques, old doors and corniced coping stones
sloughed and buried, the whole of me
in situ, cancering in place but unyielding to direction.
A compass embedded in the map of me
I carted my dark history across a vulturous sun. Yuma, AZ,
Albuquerque, Amarillo. My freckles aren’t
anymore cute They could be
deadly. I spent a queen’s ransom on my skin to carve in it
the words to what the birds have none of: theory, age,
the way my eyes used to eat the camera lens. They haven’t lost
their thirst. Who sends for water? Mine
ain’t no more for the taking. I pan for it in blood
magic, I write it in ink across the lake, the stars for all and good
their own setting celestial sparks. We soak tree barks in the cells their cells call genesis.
In water is written the herstory of ark, of flesh, of what
cannot be torn from me. The clatter and the chime. It would have been
sublime, this story of my passport stamps, the time
I found a fountain in the woods, a close exegesis of the plot
of land I call my body, a composite of invisibilia,
a container, a safehouse, bonehouse, hollow hollow space for lanterns,
the kind that float and billow away wishes,
I don’t know what for.
*"I carted my dark history across" is taken from “Call My Name” by Melissa Febos
*"But the birds, I like to think, are having/none of theory." is taken from “Flocking Theory" by Claudia Emerson.
Emily Shearer is an ex-pat poet and yoga/French/writing teacher outside Houston, TX where she fights the power and ponders the Universe and how we got Here. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart, shortlisted for the Judith B. McCabe Poetry Prize, awarded the University of Houston Robertson Prize (runner-up) and published in West Texas Literary Review, SWIMM, Clockhouse, and Ruminate, among others.