In a garden of weeds
a worm recedes through red clay,
covering itself with tender coats
of treason and slithers gray—
almost floats on fruitless
If it does this properly, it will
be compared to fingers and
not trains but still, the soil is
too bland to be tilled and
the grains too strong willed
for green streams.
It wraps itself like a paper ream,
inching against itself, arched
like an eyebrow, flinching—
and digging for a scrap
of an apple core.
Every year, we go where the deep and digging mountains talk
about dirt-knuckled pilgrims who knelt at charcoal feet of boulders.
The sky seems to rip open and leave the moon a desperate shade
of red or pink, we never can tell. The moonlit oaks seem to sing
in the ripe and untested beaks of crows.
Long and hungry against our knuckles, grating and callusing
our palms. Our plans, our home, our religious rock. We don’t
dare to hush its quiet. In the old hierarchies of the yearning-line,
the begging, black-eyed daughters caught themselves sobbing.
The nights we spend in the carriage of the mountain eye,
make up for the days lost to boars in the blackberry bush,
If not for the mannequins, we wouldn’t need to build houses
from icicles. When will we learn that the cobras coil around our
prayers and climb ladders made of gravestones? It would take more
than a table made of wood to keep these letters in this pile.
The sun rises in the slumber of our mouths, melting the tin in our teeth,
every piece of cloth that we own is married to stains. Rubbed in April-colored
dirt, sweat gluing hair to brow. We barely need to open our eyes. Watch what
we call history. If we’re not careful, we might scrape remorse from the horizon.
There is a God,
I invented her last night.
She doesn’t have flesh yet,
but I’m thinking of making
her labia out of three different
foreskins. Her eyes will be marbles,
her teeth will be wood, soap, and bone,
I haven’t found the right hair yet, but
maybe a lion’s mane or a slab of black granite.
The flower floats and tears
itself past bone-white
pyramids in faithless
sunset lulls old winds past banks
It pulls sage smoke from the breeze
and jumps from the bosom of
a burning wheel.
All the nights of all
the kids heaving and
hanging and holding
hands. Heaped like
in saltwater, trembling
at the first sign of sons.
You’re barely visible,
but somewhere you’re
all straining fistfuls of
white sand in the defiant sun.
Tyler Vile is a physically disabled queer transwoman who writes and performs poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and much more. She has been published in The Bicycle Review, The Round-Up Writer’s Zine, and Bluestockings Magazine. She is founding editor of Gender Justice Review, a regular contributor to Punk Globe Magazine, and has performed at Washington, DC’s Capturing Fire.