“The Creature” by Aimee Parkison

Aimee Parkison


It became a part of me, somehow. I felt it
Moving inside me, the way an unborn child moves
Inside its mother, in a way only a woman can feel.
It flutters. It leaps. It kicks. It churns. It grows.
I feel its tentacles growing longer, stronger. Remember
Its violet translucent blood flowing up my legs, the way
Blood dried velvety, and then turned into fine black
Powder blown away on winds? We both breathed
It in, this little tiny and dainty pink thing now swimming
Inside of me to swallow my heart—why wound it?
We don’t even know what it is and now we’ll
Never ever know. No one will find a way to study
The creature. It wasn’t its fault that it washed up
Along the shore. Why do you want to hurt it? What’s
The use in destroying what we can’t understand?
When it first happened, I couldn’t believe what you did.
I wanted to take pictures. You destroyed my camera.
I wanted to set the creature free, back to the waters.
You slapped it out of my hands, crushing the creature.
I wanted the creature. Because it was dying, again, I
Helped it become a part of me, a woman moving inside,
Inside a woman, in a way only a woman can feel
Flutters, leaps, kicks, churns. Now, it grows tentacles
longer, stronger. I carry its violet translucence
Like my heartbeat as blood dries velvety, turning
Into fine black powder blowing away on the winds.
I ate it as it shivered. You tried to confiscate it. I won.
Now, I carry it behind the rocks and into the shadows
As it shudders in my naked arms. You’re a man unable
To kill me when it crawls out of my mouth, as if to die
In my arms. You clobber it. Crush it. Smash it. Stomp it.
Hurt it. Torture it. After you try to kill it again, I hide it
The best way I know how, the one place you’ll never think
To look. You’re still so angry, afraid that I’ll put it inside
Of you. Why not? Why don’t I do to you what you did
To me when I was so afraid, so close to the water?

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
Tribute to Speculative Poetry


Aimee Parkison: “A poem is a creature with its own conscience, enlightening with secret philosophy, speaking with its own voice, reaching with rhythm, breaking boundaries with cacophony, and entertaining with the diction of paradox. The anatomy of the creature is a rhetorical structure fighting to make an aesthetic statement into a song worth singing. Ambiguity and irony are the lifebloods that flow through the creature’s new music. Only the poet knows why the creature muses as it sings.” (website)

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