Back of my Hand as a Fish out of Water
Feet dangle, nails protruding, out the wooden pier
And so we want the words to disappear
And so we want to forget this year
The metal pokes our asses but we stay here.
On the frontier, fish out a squatter
And over you, they will leer. I volunteer
My piss, salute the foam and the smog of questioning,
Questions become a sea worm with a spear.
“We’re together I swear” as sweat sops to my ear.
Tear shaped like shells, jagged and fractured.
As readable as the back of my wasteland
Do you remember, says the fatherland, what you bought as a souvenir?
That pearl-pink oyster from whiskey floodlands
And when we jumped in the milky fog to steer away from this town
But we cannot leave for long because they are here
And so the Pacific is synonymous to fear—
Or maybe the absolution of. And I want to smear the floodwater on their faces
“I fucking love her” Near—
Ly everyone knows and I sear my skin to look like a sponge.
And the wet tampon becomes a witness.
And I yell I do remember where we come from. Here, atmosphere—
Ic, hemisphere, just because she wasn’t born
A damn pioneer. An explorer, finding floating islands obscure.
A routine pap smear becomes the state
We become steer, bowing down and begging
Please just let me hold her without interfer—
Cori Bratby-Rudd is an eclectic writer from the Bay Area. As a recent graduate from UCLA’s Gender Studies department, and a current MFA in Creative Writing student at California Institute of the Arts, she enjoys incorporating themes of emotional healing and social justice into her creative and non-fiction works. She is an emerging writer and has been published in Ms. Magazine, DryLand Lit Press, FEM News, Canyon News, Rainy Day Magazine, Westwind Journal of the Arts and she recently received an editorial choice award in Audeamus’ Academic Journal for the best research piece.