Zefyr Lisowski

Oral Phrase

 After Kiki Petrosino

I fill my mouth. I fill my mouth with teeth.
I hold them like pebbles under the tongue,
and ask for seconds: tongue, eyelash,
a man’s nose crawling on the plate. Afterwards, 

I freshen my breath, but the taste won’t come
out. My bed is small, but usually filled.
My medical regimen is complicated.
My shoulders are less broad
than I think. I performed kindness once,

and naturally that’s all I consume now—
popping strangers’ glances
into my mouth like something
prescribed. What’s the point of writing
or stomaching an idle glance— 

who am I serving,
with my raw voice and filled-out frame?
Where are the bones jangling against
the windowsill? Look at me.
I have a good smile. My body,
I’m told, is like a comfort. I can always

get a date. Come closer, what’s your number?
fill my mouth with regrets, and keep filling.

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Zefyr Lisowski is a trans femme artist and writer currently based in New York. She teaches and studies at Hunter College, edits poetry for Apogee Journal, and is the author of the chapbook BLOOD BOX (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming 2019) and the microchapbook Wolf Inventory (Ghost City Press 2018). Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in MuzzleDIAGRAMFemmescapes, Bone Bouquet, and The Texas Review, among other journals. Find her at zeflisowski.com.