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Sarah Vap is the author of several poetry collections, including Viability (Penguin Books, 2016).

who knows how long this way

her body's customs
with things

he requires
that she shave
not like a girl

his passing

actually
imagines her own

it's nothing, though

she just climbs out
of the forest
forearms swollen from horseflies,

her eyes swollen—
smears him
on her body, not knowing
how she intends
to live.

So shows
him something—

pollen,
a powerful arm
and vodka
souring his balls.

Nothing left but oldness
she shifts his skin

like a lover
with all this knowledge

of her, he really
had nothing to choose.

From Dummy Fire by Sarah Vap, published by Saturnalia Books. Copyright © 2007 by Sarah Vap. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

From Dummy Fire by Sarah Vap, published by Saturnalia Books. Copyright © 2007 by Sarah Vap. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Sarah Vap

Sarah Vap is the author of several poetry collections, including Viability (Penguin Books, 2016).