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My Life Shrinks to the Size of a Midge

The one that flew into my mouth, its wet wings banging
my throat cage, the bloated scent of sea, low decibel
feeling something’s coming inexorable as a red
dress, ruched storm cloud contracting as my
face contracts my face a motor boat idling
at high tide, cocktail hour collecting a swarm
of tipsy citizens who mount my rails settle
into my many creases where suns too
numerous to count have risen & set &
flash like my hazard orange nails which
seem to suggest there is only the present
danger of a life swallowing a life, a face
capsized caught between the bottle-
cap teeth of a giant squid, marked
like the sperm whale’s face is
marked with overlapping rings
tattooed by the squid’s suckers
scarred signature of prey
thwarting predator like
the signature of
the midge
in my throat.
My face knows
it’s no different from
the midge. Knows not
to scrutinize the mirror if
it doesn’t want to see its own
reflection if it doesn’t want to see
a face steered into its own wake. If
it doesn’t want to know the appetite
of rebel water, mercenary sunlight.

Candice Reffe


Spring 2017

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