Fascinating, the Parts of Us

Melissa Studdard

that attain immortality before we do,as if we’d sculpted ourselves into skylineagainst the first gasp of night. I want to stealthe hair of everyone I’ve ever loved, shave itright onto the pillow from their unsuspecting sleepand carry it to the top floor of my obsession.I have trouble letting go, it’s true. In an elevator, I’mthe last to push my floor, and I drink five bottles of waterat a time, scattered all over the house, afraid that if I finishthem, I’ll die. Same with books. Lately I’ve beenreading about President Antonio López de Santa Anna,who ordered a full military burial for hisamputated leg. He dug it upto transport from one home to another,paraded it in an ornate, royal coach.I dream of sparrows lifting the ten poundsI lost last spring to the sun, pinking the edges of the citywith what I used to be. Body that I can barely keep up with,you owe me nothing, not even your parts. Yet, I’m so hungryfor the vanishing lamps of your intelligenceI could eat my own tail,I could pull my own lightning from the sky.

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Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her writings have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Harvard Review, New Ohio Review, Bettering American Poetry, Poets & Writers, and more. In addition to writing, she serves as executive producer and host of Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and president of the Women’s Caucus for AWP. To learn more, visit melissastuddard.com.


XVI Fall 2018

Co-Poetry Editors
Iliana Rocha
Alyssa Jewell

Co-Founder & Managing Editor
Justin Bigos

Waxwing is a literary journal promoting the tremendous cultural diversity of contemporary American literature, alongside international voices in translation. It is the editors’ belief that American literature is thriving, both in terms of aesthetics and cultural inclusiveness. Waxwing believes that American voices are, at their cores, both multicultural and multinational, and so the editors’ mission is to include American writers from all cultural identities — in terms of race, ethnicity, indigenous tribe, gender, class, sexuality, age, education, ability, language, religion, and region — alongside international voices, published bilingually. Waxwing aims to broadcast as widely as possible, in each and every issue, singular voices — and to hear these voices together, in all their harmony and dissonance.

Waxwing is published in October, February, and June of each year. The journal publishes poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, art, and music, as well as international literature in translation. Waxwing currently accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translations; all other content is solicited.

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