CONSENT by Jennifer Funk

/ / Issue 14, Poetry

As if you could dig it up like a carrot
or shake it loose from the branches.  

As if you could thwack it in half
like a coconut, could drink the milk

sloshing inside and be revived, as if you could command it
onto your tongue, as if it had a taste,

as if it could be poured or caught or captured or held
or worried loose like a tooth, a knot, a nail, as if it were an eye

fixed on a snake bisecting the path.  
As if it could be summoned and hooded,  

cut and partitioned: this: meat. This: poison. Many times

there was only the bright smell of gin
on my mouth and the butterscotch glow 

of stupid I must have been haloed in, the sudden
seizure of my bitter orange and juniper tongue. Desire,

yes, also, urgency. But I could be
caught, I could be lightning

directed, flash inanimate. Out beyond
these walls, a ferocious wind

makes love to the trees in a yard,
pine needles scattering all over

the green, green ground. I want to say
I never assented to any role I was not fully certain I could sell,

but I, too, am susceptible to the suspicion I should be
dumb and grateful, like a cow or a potted plant.
 

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