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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Two Poems | Sarah Klein

Stain for CD117

it's my mast cells,

I will say, as underneath

the flushed skin my blood

bubbles & boils & churns,

the acid eroding my stomach

lining rises and chokes me

as my anger flares: my body

firing on all cylinders in distress -

the messily stitched-together

interweaving of a lived

experience with cells gone awry:

I want an autonomy I cannot

claim - and I channel it toward

my knowledge of the chemical

reactions in the cells that they

saw under microscope as

abnormal, hidden until the dye

brought them into the harsh

light of the clinical gaze, finally -

this I can understand and explain,

I can educate the way the trigger

works because what I have to

avoid is the buried part of me

that I know is angry with cause,

that I rein in, tame, smooth out,

make palatable, relatable,

shape into something that

people will read, nodding to

themselves, a rational frustration -

to keep what I view as a monster

from consuming me, even

though the monstrosity is the horror

of so many hours I have seen,

swallowed, agonized, cried, I

restrain myself so they will not

restrain me, they will not hear me:

fuck you, you did not believe me,

you saw me suffer and you filed

me away in a drawer under hysterical;

fuck you, you harmed me, the snake

on the rod of Asclepius should strangle

you until you feel the panic rise

within and set your whole body alight -

and that's your mast cells.

mister hypoglycemic mage

the ash of a tongue set aflame

a sparkle click chanting words

glossolalia in eight different mouths

the sight of a thousand in the eyes of a few

(a picture is worth a thousand words)

at the top of a mountain in sepharimic outline

silhouetted by the flames licking hellbent on his robes

a black hole for a gaping mouth and the pit-eyes of a corpse

is your savior decaying on pounds of moss

a skeletal sort of nightmare

phantasmagoric from a realm unseemly

and his prophecy you listen in rapt awe

like a thousand dying maggots

sucking off the last scraps of flesh

from the whittled dog bones

in some sort of language depraved

"i have seen the sinners and the saints

both gnawing on the flesh of their elders,

roasting their young on spits in a smoky sort of serenade

a blood-christening rising on the early morning dew

wrinkled guts in heaps as they glut themselves"

in the coal-black whisper of midnight

"i have seen these sinners and saints

and they are just a simple mirror

as they gaze into the eyes of each other"

Sarah Klein is a queer disabled writer whose poetry has previously appeared in fifth wheel press, Coffin Bell, the Jewish Literary Journal and others. She currently resides in Boston and her other passions include social justice and her two black cats.



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