All of the Plant is Edible

John Gosslee

I watch the stars hide behind each otherand it's another beautiful day of sin in the world.She opens the magazine and the seam bends,the nails crawl like beetles across my backand put my body to sleep,the dark eyes swim in the roomfree of her head.There's nothing different than yesterday,the harmony is laid over the chord like it's new,better, the past, a rubber pickaxe bouncingback into the moment with the weightof yesterday behind it.The secret between us is where the tongue rests,the oxidation of enamel in the mouth,night after long night and I want to wakewith the hands I know in my hair.My skin sticks to itself in the humid airand there are no texts to relieve the shockof finding my own body on the doorstep,music doesn't relive the storm,it puts the body in touch with the wind.In the open mouth of the night,the thought crawls out of the muscle,my heart beat, a heavy rainin the kettle of my chest.

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John Gosslee is editor-in-chief of New York City based Quiet Lunch. He is the editor of 50 Contemporary Woman Artists (Schiffer, 2018).

“Skin, regardless of incarnation, must be shed. It's how we survive. And for all of us who have never quite felt at ease in our own carapace (at least not at first), Fish Boy is a love note to every misfit either still reconciling their form, or only just now settling into it. As Gosslee comes into his own writerly skin, we get the sense that he has been building up to this moment for decades, 'the dark priest' of poetry definitively declaring himself with these, some last rites for his father.”
—Genna Rivieccio, The Opiate editor-in-chief

“In Fish Boy, John Gosslee writes about a son’s loss of his father with a beautifully wrought intensity. He unpacks their relationship (even the parts many would shy away from), holds each piece up to the light, and examines it like a prism. Gosslee writes 'Father, I’m not running anymore.' And that’s true—here, he turns to face the raw nerve of grief with guts and grit—a rare talent.”
—Travis Wayne Denton, Terminus editor-in-chief

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