Three Poems by Kameryn Alexa Carter


Commodity Fetish

They put me under
the wire and danger
comes like water
from a comet. I am
sprinting at the top
of my lungs. Soon
my teeth will be sold
in an online shop
called Whatsoever
nestled inside
the velvet mouth
of a faux Fabergé
egg. I checked
YES at intake.
I answered
the questions
I wrote, It is
not natural
to hold anything
at the neck. Even
a shot spruce grouse
writhing in the dirt.

The interviewer asks
how it feels to know
I will soon die
of consumption.

I am sprinting
for my life.

Still Life

Outside, I might have had teeth. I might have been an antelope or the lion which devours it. I might have been an infant, latching. Inside I am a creature in a silk blouse: cockscomb mane on edge, bearing my empty mouth like a bloody, hollowed pomegranate. I wake beclouded by bloodlust—anachronism antedomestic. So often I wake with my arms clutching my arms. Inside is wicked, elastic—everything a trick of the intellect, of the iris. When I can grin and bear it, I behold my own grotesque face in the mirror. Are you there? The antelope bids. I’m here.


 Cri de coeur


My hair-bower hides a .22
No—I am bald and keep

Less hair lately
More and more middle
less cupboards and more

on which to bounce crying
babies on which to frère
jacques myself to sleep

At four I shoved the play
thermometer under my arm
and pronounced myself ill,

At twenty-two all my selves
say thank you.

I clap. I am so happy.
I am so sick. Every year alive
much cake. My skirttails
ring round me saturnalia
and I will sonnez les matines
and pray, unbosom my warm
pistols as I dance, summon
the first hours with shots,
bells clanging thank you
thank you thank you
thank you thank you
thank you thank you

About the Author

Kameryn Alexa Carter (she/her) is a Black poet and assemblagist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Puerto del Sol, phoebe, Spoon River Poetry Review, LETTERS, and Bennington Review.

Image: John Fowler: Comet NEOWISE,  2020 (CC)

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