a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
which may mean little of my morals
but I love that a body has been reused.
Love that the skin was first worn
by the one who made it from their own cells.
Then worn by another. Then another.
I want my body to be used the same way
so I wear an animal that can teach me.
It’s hide tanned deep chestnut
and sewn to pull taunt over my hips
the vee just deep enough for a hint of cleavage
the skin tight to catch each breast’s curve.
This is how I hold the gift of flesh
against my own belly button where once
I was fed by my mother
who made me from her own blood
her wide nights of troubled sleep
and didn’t she know heartache and grief.
This dress from one who once had memories
and ripped stubborn blades of grass from the earth
as though they too are not living,
are not also reaching for open air.
Let another lover take me this way
let me find a dizzy lullaby in my own hips.
I can smooth myself into this life, as I can
into the skin of another, and dance. Let me sing
as I walk far from the world I made with him.
Let my body say—
When you’re used and the living goes on:
Genevieve Pfeiffer is a poet, herbalist, and teacher. They are the Assistant Director at Anomaly and will host its summer reading series in a beautiful NYC community garden (join us!) Their work is forthcoming or has been published in Frost Meadow Review, Quail Bell Magazine, Birdcoat Quartlerly, Juked, So to Speak, The Write Room, and others. They oscillate between NYC and the mountains, and you can find them where there are trees.