Alix Wood

The Way Bodies Age

As one worships four directions
I praised the four limbs poking out from his body.

During sex, he kissed my naked belly
like a piñata​​ ready for splitting.

All that sugar rotting in my gut.
When I was younger, I spooled honey out of the jar

like threads of yarn and swallowed enough to clog my throat.
What tastes good going down leavens into a sour paste.

I’ve met a man who could talk for days,
whose love is a boy living in the cupboard

who never comes out. Once,
his mother made mofongo from scratch,

pounded plantains into a thick, yellow mush.
The way bodies age and widen.

He kissed my sucked-in belly and said
breathe​ and I did,

allowed pockets of air to rupture and quake,
a small lizard crawling beneath sand.

For the weak, breathing is difficult.
To compensate, I buy king-sized candy bars and stuff myself,

an overburdened ship at the bottom of the lake
now framed in barnacle and moss. The way bodies age,

the lake sinks into itself, sucks in its stomach.
Other than the fish biting my toes,

no one is there to kiss it. Some say if you look hard
enough, a relic of plesiosaurus resides deep in the reefs.

I hope the monster and shipwreck know each
other, have become lovers, but this is only myth.


Alix Wood was raised by two mothers on Anna Maria Island, Florida. At the
University of Vermont, she was the editor-in-chief of The Gist, the
school’s literary and art magazine. Her work has been published by SWWIM,
Poached Hare, Impossible Archetype, and Screen Door Review and will be
published by Bear Review, Plenitude Magazine, and Sundog Lit. Alix’s poetry
frequently centers around the body, bisexuality, trauma, family
relationships, mental illness, and the natural world. She is currently an
MFA student in poetry at North Carolina State University.

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