selections from Mermaid Gravy / Julie Wells


Monogrammed towels are not in your
future. I see answers and questions.
I see beauties stripping off dresses to reveal hot patient skin
too sweet for you. I see women in your future
women who cannot change oil, but can afford

for you to, daily. I see hairs rolling on your bed
breaking words into bars, notes, chords. I see you
stepping in, becoming the song you should.
I see your voice pretend help is for the unfit only.

I see your essential voice in the background: help.
I see escape creep into your neck as she sleeps. I see speed
in your synapses as she lies in your bed. I see Heaven devouring
I see riches dehydrating even your tongue. I see
pink shirts in your closet. I see tapas filling you

with indecision. I see your unsteady stick house.
I see you jumping in sheets and I see Sugar waiting for you
to finish. I see monogrammed towels in her eyes. You see.
You see answers and questions. I see beauties
stripping off dresses to reveal hot skin.


I cannot see my face. Shallow eyes shave
morning fuzz. Silence questions its existence:
long air, insulation, shredded art. Language
is an atom tossed from the hand of absence,
a glass balloon hoping for teeth, shrieking at the pain
of losing nothing, trapping itself in cans.
Language questions the subconscious duet
we all hide. Language questions
our paradoxical feminine masculinity,
and let me tell you how not perfect the answer.
Let me tell you how radioactive.
Let me tell you how you’ll breathe.


Try to hold on
to our origami rose.
Allow letters
to close shops.
Roll on the grass.

Attend carbon turns.
See beauty in the lie of yes
as my dyslexic tongue

says no. Attach
by a thin thread.
Hold our alphabet.

Disclaim Twenty-third Street
sidewalks. Disrobe your pyramid
of skin. Let me tell you.
Be a duet of amber and wood.
Layer ribbons on top.


It’s about the paradoxical femininity
of tough leather. It’s about a scream
an answer to stillness and shallow eyes.
It’s about causal art: filled with ghosts and steam,
breathing pink air, tossed from the hand of language,
sharp chunks of gold. It’s about your mouth
made of pennies and garnets, spilling words and smoke
and carbon and burning echoes. It’s about the shriek
of glass falling from your fingers and the pain
of losing something you’ll never own. It’s about leaning
closer. It’s about telling. It’s about a definition
which is not equivalent to a set of points.

1 comment:

BG said...

wow-- escape creeping into someone's neck-- what an interesting thought/image-- a great deal there in her mind as she lays it out-- good stuff--