Human Uses

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He took something out of me —
a buoyant oval shell, a structure

for control. I keep myself so zero
and clean, a neatly arranged red

scream. But every new morning
brings its own weight, a sinking

meat with no spaces for breath.
Whatever lightness was in me

is feeding a bird in a horizontal
cage, or breaking into pill-white

powder. I want to dissolve inside
a different body. I have shredded

the old body plan, made distance
between that gray panicked heat

and me. I am not now who I was,
but I have another use. I could be

a pattern for a soft metal circle
hidden inside bone, filled with

molten gold instead of air. I could
rest cold on the windowsill at night

or wash down the drain with red
and soap, let myself go boneless

until I touch the floor of the ocean.
I could sit there with the open dead

and watch the fish turn their bodies
into points of light tucked into sky.

Human Uses by Danielle Weeks


Photo used under CC.

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About Author

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Danielle Weeks received an MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program, where she also served as the poetry editor for Willow Springs. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine, Salt Hill Journal, Sugar House Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others.

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