by Nicole Inge
Medusa’s Girlfriend Does Her Hair
She is braiding the snakes that make
up the snarls of my hair down my back.
Soothing each scaled thought away from
the rock gilded monstress they’ve made me
out to be. I am not the nightmare machine,
though the scent of their fear perfumes
my neck. The darkness I cannot escape
collects under fingernails bitten too close
to the quick. But my fingers still dip
gentle into the grooves of her spine.
I wrap my hand around the back
of her neck; offer support against
the sharpest of vertebrae.
She sings hymns into my ears,
locks her fingers in the tangles
of life that sprout from my scalp.
She is undoing all of the old work.
I sigh into her ear, move with
her, attempt to understand
the undulations of wanting to continue,
unlearning the scrape of terror from
human contact. I am turned Dawn:
blushing pink, gasping purples between
lips, pushing through darkness to split
open into radiant morning.
Woman as Dying Star
I am twisted into a new
vision: constellation swiftly
claimed. Count me among the sky.
I hide between lines turned
knifepoint. A north star cannot be unmade,
but it can be lost. Time catching
up to light, a name sheared
from the tapestry of sky: my throat
burns to witness. I think maybe I will
scream a bit longer now. A new
kind of siren song made from
disparate pieces of woman.
A speck of dust, the ghost of
never. Folding the distance across
pages into a fistful of lines I took
back for myself. Obsidian Night
stares, whispers about the ways
it wants to make me whimper. I
burst, combust in beautiful
fracturing, lean back and fall
through the universe. Lighting
up the dark in phantasmal glow
and so soon collapse.
Nicole Inge is an MFA candidate at George Mason University and the assistant poetry editor for So to Speak. Her work can be found in Remington Review and forthcoming in Moonchild. She’s a bisexual poet, enjoys researching way too much, and writes about the monstrous feminine.