Meghan Privitello

The Minotaur

Whether or not it is a curse that I want you
does not diminish the way my body has become
a neighborhood stalked by perverts and thieves.

Some say a woman and her blender are inseparable.
That sheets and pans and vacuums are the children
of love. But if she says otherwise, says I crave

the hard meat of your thighs, who is to judge her
for being anything but a heartbeat wrapped
in tongues? Who is she but the lucky millionth

one whose want makes a snuff film out of the way
a bowl’s lip cracks an egg? There is something
about a dark room that turns me animal—

clawing at the walls to learn what holds me in,
licking the carpet to know where you have
and haven’t been. My life is an old sentence—

First comes love, then comes marriage.
The gods are tired of that story. They erase me
in parts. My heart is half-gone. It beats

half bovine, half she. If I were to build a body
around my body, an architecture that proved
a woman is not a church, or a train station,

or a county jail, would you see how I backed myself
up to the doorknob, how each of our openings
is nothing if not an otherworldly kind of light?

And if I asked you, lover, home-wrecking beast,
to try each of your keys in that gleaming lock,
would you? Would you turn me?

If in the morning, the plants have died and we feel
no different for having broken every heart
and heirloom in the hutch, know that ruin was our destiny.

We’ve been monsters all along.



As a child, I stapled my fingers together

Sometimes you are born without wanting to sign for peace

At the time of conception, the body is a dumb TV at the curb

Sometimes you say no and get diamonds anyway

Sometimes you are a toothpick in a man’s mouth

In school they teach you about the many colors of dying

The Virginia Woolf, the AIDS, the Wrong From Birth

I am always loved by men dressed as Jesus

They give me their Word

They take away their Word

Sometimes blood is only arithmetic

How little of it, how much to avoid zero

Planes crash when you are afraid to tell the truth

Velocity is a privilege, and headrests, and language

If a knife is at your throat, you say Every angle is terrifying

Sometimes Rilke will not sit with you in the photo booth

Sometimes beauty does not want to be seen with you

There are men who will title your life “Violent, with Reckoning”

Sometimes a sneaker is the only boat to leave on

Sometimes a girl will become

Not less than, but an opening

When flowers wilt, so does love, so does god

There is music when what you love crosses the ledger line

Every good boy does fine

No good man lets a pretty thing die

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