'Holocene', by Sarah Jean Grimm

Photograph by Jono Colliver. Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 4.0 International Licence.

In the dream I swim green pools
I call them California
The waters witness my vacancies

I have lied that I have none
I have lied from my deepest lung
I have lied in hot color

The waters breed gnats
to break my skin awake
The dark falls off the ledge

Into the bottom of morning
Cracks an egg in the air Hello
I am awake to the ways I can be cracked

Help me be the drug for my own biology
In the dream I live inside a mouth
It keeps me humid and happy

I am the most fertile I have
the greenest and cleanest scales
always already on the verge of feathering

Hello chicken wing Hello
drumstick I am edible and alive but totally
incompatible with your enzymes

In the dream my body dissolves
in soft places first
I find my jaw inside the hard ground

not at all where I left it
It takes an event to crack open
I am a lost mine I come in pieces

I come to you for milk
Hello Holocene I am all over
your geography

I see your taxonomy and I raise you
this honey this hard bargain
this smoking gun this aerosol

It takes an event or just
an unsteady drip of ultraviolet
In the dream I am leaking

I swim inside the waters
I ink into them slowly
The dark sloughs off the ledge into my mouth

Milk becomes a dirty word
The wind tunnels through vacant honeycombs
The same wind combs my hair

I witness the lies
I testify on my last remaining egg
It is all I have it is too late

This piece originally appeared in The Lifted Brow: Digital, Volume 15, Issue 1: The Dinosaur Edition. Download the free app and get your copy now.

Sarah Jean Grimm holds her Master’s in English from Fordham University, where she also earned her Bachelor’s in English & Classical Languages. She works at Penguin Random House and edits the online journal, Powder Keg. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Coconut, Similar:Peaks::, Swarm, Ilk, Sixth Finch, Birdfeast and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her orange cat.