Photography © Edward S. Gault
Anorexia, or How it Was For Over a Year – July 2020
bite at the hand that feeds you keep
quick and cunning as the doors close
watch out: someone could be listening to you be kind
and that’s not allowed up here
as far as we care to know. keep the second head
sewn on let the thought of a car
accident fulfill your dreams: seven car seven
day a week pileup metal scraps
flying at neck putty like
clowns on crushed fruit. revolve around the
sunscreen keeping your face away in a
brain dead mint tongue haze gravity
made of lead as you tumble. let child daydreams
be your love and let your loves be a
distant daydream the way every goal falls farther
out of reach, the obsessions we all have, the
obsession that makes me special, that makes
me lonely, that makes me miscarry too often and
bloat weekly like a twisted madonna who obeys
a handsome devil, the dangerous supreme benign command
that if it all feels like too much then
snap the wires and lay red tape with
thick white text scrawled on it repeating
it was simply too much and i had to burn it
to the ground.
Early Recovery – January 2021
she tells me to take it one day at a time, and
if that causes me to short circuit, take it
one log at a time. i feel as if i have become
a five-legged beetle rather than a resting
camper, navigating fallen trunks with a
feeble touch and a half inch gait. some days
feeling full of life makes me feel lifeless.
take it one log at a time, she says. i nod.
one log. as an android i wish some logs
could still be none. pepper some zeros in
between those full digits. binary symbols
make the mind feel at ease, the legs feel
numb; makes the wood roll over and squish
my fingertip back like a maggoted plum.
In a Stable Place – February 2022
the church put baby
jesus back into storage a couple months ago now. my baby
brother tells me that he doesn’t fear death, or
at least as much as he should. we’re walking
from the aquarium to the north end for an
italian dinner, while snow dogs swivel and swirl
and bite my ears off with freezer teeth. i hate
my body and miss my dog a little more each day.
i couldn’t handle it
if i wasn’t loved. i know i’m loved. i know i’m loved
because i repeat the language of lovers,
and i just can’t get the taste of those phrases
out of my mouth. learn how to translate their words
into yours, i want to say. grab apathetic mandibles
and spit in them. that’s how i live now, but
only because i’ve learned how to
be on my own and never alone.
put your fingers in my wounds and beneath my teeth
if you find yourself doubting. babies know how to swim
in the beginning, i want to say. but they forget
after a while, and our future selves
have to take up the mantle of learning again.
to un-hollow a hole is to give in to time.
i pray to dusty baby jesus that he’ll know
by the time the snow melts.
Casey Richards-Bradt: “Although I am originally from Vermont, I am currently finishing up my first year at Emerson College in Boston as a creative writing major. My favorite pastimes include creating art and writing poetry and horror short stories. I use they/them pronouns.”
Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Massachusetts.