Three Poems by Elise Salsman

Sep 1, 2021 | 2021 Fall - Bodies, Poetry

Our Lady, Star of the Sea

I, the derelict and the mother
You, the faithful

The oblation of my body is common thought
And common law.
All this hungry world does is affirm me,
My breast buds, your eucharist;
This immaculate heart of Mary forgives you
For your trespasses.

If I were warrior woman Judith
I’d get life in prison for beheading
The slaughterers of my people,
My pariah femininity condemned to let
The beast savor and taste
The girl just cries.

I’m Narcisse’s self-image in the pool
My face accreting clay shape,
A Venusian paradise; one empty shell as
A life raft parsed from land.
I’m Scylla, I’m Charybdis
With a cherry dehisce.

Let Them Eat Cake!

A modern Marie Antoinette would be
The first to pay to have her head cut off; vaginoplasty.
She could do it over the tub with a bit of teflon floss.
Uranus’ severed genitals dissolved into spermatic seafoam green.
Venus was first blood and semen before flesh,
The divine inception of oestradiol.

Maybe, you think her a jejune ingénue,
Too spoilt from time spent
Entertaining catholic princes snipped
Too short by their own mothers,
Who’ve subscribed to enlightenment pseudo-science

The Apple, Your Eyes

Mine serpentine thighs
Birth monsters in your eyes;
Two ophiophagus asps rasp
The other ’round your neck,
Clasped by primality’s gasp.

I’m that succubus slag
You saw nude through
Pink rhubarb in your garden;
Soggy August air
Wetting citric juiced fruit.

I peel my face off
With an acid-washed cloth
Nightly by vanity light.
All I did was shed,
And informed you to.

Elise Salsman (she/her) is a trans woman. “Elise” means “God is my oath” or “my God is abundance.”


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