Virginia’s Moth

My body’s known poets, a legion of murmuring men
saying things like, there’s a whole narrative here
while stumbling down the buttons of a blouse, twining
threads of hair in their fingers and suddenly
jerking back. Exposed jawline, faux tenderness
sniffed and followed like a sentence.

My limbs have known Bukowskis, drunk and smoking cloves
staring casually at my body thinking: no story here but movement.
This, when I practically glisten in stasis under the heft
of their swagger. My diurnal muscles dimmed
and dampened by articulate fingers
fixing me in glib oil.

My torso’s known weight, has been pricked, pinned
down, hung off the edges of tables and beds, blushes
and vertigos have been sampled by men attempting accuracy
transcribing my body’s blood. Testing phrases, my breasts
have made for magnificent
palate cleansers.

My heart’s known nothing of poets, is spotless, save for a cliché
of eyelids when things like, I could craft long poems of your legs
have been uttered. Like a murder of moths on the sill, still I refuse
their nocturnal net. Like a mishandled mythology skewered
shadowless on a bedpost, still I trail
my stubborn dust.

Domenica Martinello lives, writes, and avoids going to parties in Montréal, Quebec. She is a former intern for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and was shortlisted for the Irving Layton Award for Poetry in 2012, 2013, and 2014. She ate souvlaki in the same booth that Layton once sat in brandishing a plaque from the Canada Council. Her writing has appeared in The Void, Headlight Anthology, outlandish zine, and Subversions: A Journal of Feminist Queries.