by Eli Vandegrift

my growth, animal. skin full of cheetah spots. my eczema,

a landscape you can itch. my belly hair, spider legs you can stroke.

my lips drip with an excess only a lover could eat. how sluggish,

the way we crawl

toward anything soft. i still buy every plush creature i see.

like if i can love what’s artificial, i can love what’s real. in german,

everything has a gender, even objects. does this mean every object

you love

loves you back? and i don’t mean toy story; more like

caligari or metropolis, where the environments are as alive as the

characters. loose fluid creatures in the dark. electric bodies made

animal and

mechanical. the body as a kind of technology. how skin has

as much of a pronoun as a city. as much as a dog’s wagging tail.

how everything with a shadow makes a practice of crawling.

Eli Vandegrift (they/them/theirs) is a queer poet from Virginia. They are currently an MFA candidate in poetry at George Mason University. They are interested in hybrid genres, hybrid creatures, and the relentless fluidity of being.

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