from The Shape Territory Takes

Andrea Rexilius

          A girl rises out of the ground carrying roots in her mouth.

          I rise out of the ground carrying roots in my mouth.

          The way a city becomes a name I have mispronounced.

          Birds are here to share their bread with me. They see I am

          a fairy tale specter. As metal trees rise heavy on their

          roots, beneath me the pastoral hushes. I want to dig past

          legos and G.I. Joes into something more guttural. Nearly

          everyone will disapprove.

          The sky is dark. The sky is light. The sky is leaving.

          The hawks are flying. The hawks are soaring. The hawks

          are burning in the sun. The light is soothing. The light is

          suffering. The light turns dry in my throat. I am pivoting

          toward. I am carrying toward. I am whistling toward that

          old cottage in the woods. Dirt in the old country tells the

          truth of dirt. I put my ear to the Eastern European ground.

          A train is coming. A flask come undone at my belt. And

          the teeth. The yellow teeth. The brittle teeth. The teeth as

          roots of the murderous mouth.

          There are no roots. The ceiling is breeding with its gills

          tucked in like a bitter lung. It is peaceful in the electric

          blue light of air. Did you know large eggs in photographs

          are eyes? It is interesting to observe these eyes. They are

          mostly olive in color. Some animals are not real. Some

          squint up their eyes to weep. I know what the red one is

          thinking with its green eye and rudimental legs. He is

          sticking to his opinion. Organs of hearing correspond to

          other organs of hearing. Out of the pouch an egg, the first

          egg, the elliptical egg, the egg finds its way into spirit jar,

          the wonder-egg, the egg of a platypus, they laid eggs, they

          laid eggs to an even worse degree imagined, they laid eggs

          that were victim to human invasion, soft-shelled eggs,

          marsupial eggs, the playback of eggs as animals, as

          anatomical structures, fur eggs, pouch eggs, eggs of the

          gun, eggs of every female animal, the egg of a hollow tree

          in which it was hiding, the egg that had more teeth in its

          jaws than any other mammal, the egg that hatches to

          emergency without roots, the egg that hatches rooted to


          I saw ladies on the hill, the sound of buffalo humming

          buffalo dancing a buffalo dance.

          I know the grasses beneath their feet, the heave

          of breath through hot air.

          It is so 80s. Dying to be a friend to something

          four-legged. I wish I were a burr on some kind of hill.

          Where we ended up.

          A dog among the buffalo. A baby buffalo.

          You could never understand the deep, purple-blue storm

          among the buffalo. The lightning of the buffalo.

          Concealed by the shade of trees. Burning in the light of trees.

          History has not lived. It would have revealed on water flowing between.

          I will give it its arraignment. Its arrangement.

          History tastes me. I am incurable, human restlessness.

          Let me conceal. Let me eclipse. Let me revel in the still

          blue of its fabric. In the corridor of this.

          In the arms of this. Beside this. In the certainty of this heat.

          In the certainty of this heat I become water. I become one

          of those bathing women in museums. I bathe, pouring

          water on my hair. I have one foot in a basin. I have one

          hand on the wall. I have inspired many men to paint my

          hamstrings. It is amazing to be inside this body. To be

          seen for centuries, a naked, docile muse. Do you

          remember the time I poured blue paint on myself? I was

          naked then too. I pulled a scroll from the deep, rooted

          earth. I went underneath the grass to breathe as grass


Andrea Rexilius completed her Ph.D. in Literature and Writing at the University of Denver. She is co-editor of Marcel Press. She is the author of To Be Human Is to Be a Conversation (Rescue Press, 2011) and Half of What They Carried Flew Away (Letter Machine Editions, 2012).