“This All Happened on Earth” by Daniel Tompkins

Daniel Tompkins


Consider the anus
as an instrument
for expulsion, as a locus
for the reception of pleasure

and in giving pleasure, coat
the tongue in fecal matter,
while the tongue’s expression
shivers up the nervous
body to be conceived within the brain as sexual:

oh, fuck

should I stop?


and responded to innately with the flickering
of certain muscles, and audibly to urge the completion
of the act, even as your voice will say:

but I’m not clean down there

with an awareness of the body as consuming and expelling
constantly, without volition, as host to the colonial
bacteria living and breeding in the chasm of intestine
or of the body as a corporation
of cells, and so your voice:

you made me cum so much my abs are sore

our skin slick
with sweat, and you:

but that part was gross

And so I grin:

now we both ate what you ate

we do not have a word
for something so beautiful
and so disgusting, it ceases being either.

from Rattle #59, Spring 2018


Daniel Tompkins: “I wrote and read my first poem in 2014 in Saskia Hamilton’s workshop at Barnard, which I took at the suggestion of a close friend. I switched majors to poetry at the end of the semester and have been writing ever since.” (web)

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