2018 Wilbur Gaffney Poetry Prize
by Katie Schmid
After Natalie Diaz
When my body was the door between life and death.
When the door opened and 500 pink krill floated out,
handmaidens to the rent in my flesh. When my flesh
was torn and velvet and red wet poppies. When it
shuddered and bowed before its death and I took the
holy chaos on my none head. When I called her out
with my surrender. When we said hello and parted
forever. When she was born. When it was cavernous
and I thought it would always be so. When it sucked
the wound salt when it sucked the raw wound when it
sucked & what light there is off a wound was its own
medicine. When it told the story of health in advance
of health’s arrival. When her taste of me was my only
eros. When her claws in my breast my only touch.
When I thought it would always be so.
When I made the ocean
come into the room. When it lapped at our bed in hunger.
When I begged for it. When I cried from it. When I was
bone white coral and my networks alive. When I was a
home for your body. For mine. When no one praised how
fine I was made so I prayed to my self, undulate in the fuck.
When the ocean is home and night milk and death and all
the beauty alive in it shimmers just underneath the surface.
That. There. Now I have done it you can’t tell me anything.