CHRISTEN ESKANDER


I am
some ancient bones unearthed,
grumbling and groaning.

You find me
laid in a cot, pink blood drained
a sand full of centuries ago:

the brown flesh
a revered thing, a pretty mystery —
tell me a tale of worth, vendor:

for the gallery my skin adorns,
for the disease my skin devours.

O history maker, in your image I am made:
a nose pinched, a name cinched.

These sockets see all —
your drool made to drip
by the dust of my dogged image,

by the ribs teething on ribbons
of sterile, museum-bought light.

The spectacle, the pageant.
Audience: watch your mummified terror

pick at the resin and tear at the linen,
re-stuff the insides and vomit the wine.

Now awakened:

I rob the time made thirsty for love,
hoarding extra lives within my chest.

Each life becomes me;
I count them on lips speaking
a grafted vernacular built word by word

like a three-day-old tomb,
like a scarab kneading a pulse.

I exist
not as your Lisa. With an antique face
and a nose you will never forget,

I am more corporeal than conspiracy.
Again these arable eyes are sun-flooded,
and I am rich beyond cryptic currency.

Listen:
my newborn skin hisses
like hot ghee under sweat-swamped skies;

my bloodline runs over, thick
as a God-sized plague.

These fingers snatch
a shard of rotted crown,
a shiver of power —

the kohl curl,
the twisted tongue,
the foreign face

— they are mine to rule.




︎Christen is a Medical Science student majoring in Human Anatomy.
She likes her tea with honey and her words with bite.︎


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