Taisia Kitaiskaia

Tapestry, Regarding the Monkey

The Monkey is not allowed,
but he goes, he transgresses.

Transgression is the modus operandi
of the Monkey, it is what worms
will inscribe on his forehead

in the dead gardens.
The Monkey shields himself
from strong light.

The Monkey is perversity robing
& disrobing.

Every time the Monkey transgresses,
there is a new carbuncle in my caves,
he leaves a green hole.

Otherwise I am topiary
with a beating heart
on the garden benches.

The Monkey chews the heart, grotestiqual.

The Monkey is a pauper,
pockets trembling with seeds.

The Monkey is always shoving
into his mouth little toffees,
cakes, caterpillars, trash,

“I am heaving with joy,”
he says, arching into me.

Sometimes he is woven:
brownish, stationary
in my whorls, reaching for a pear,
drinking from a stream.

The Monkey is arrogant,
explaining maths, as if I am not
made entirely of maths.

He wears fishnets.

He prosodies, he radicals.

He carries gunnysacks
of kidnapped children, coal
children whom he feeds

dried biscuits
from his terrible pockets.

Monkey’s body runs
on a dreaming,
drooping fish.

In truth I am in love with the Monkey.

We sleep together in a hammock.

Monkey syncopates, I purr.

Monkey climbs my rungs,
bleats.

Drives our babies to the soccer game.

Marries my sister, the Wolverine Tapestry.

Marries my mother, the Legendary Crone.

Speaks evil into my trees
who revolt with spears & toxic juice.

Monkey of bright chaos, wet plethora.

Taisia Kitaiskaia’s poems have appeared in journals such as Pleiades, jubilat, Guernica, Gulf Coast, and Fence. She is the recipient of a Michener Center for Writers fellowship, oracle for Ask Baba Yaga, and the author of Literary Witches, forthcoming from Hachette/Seal in Fall 2017.
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