Valerie Wetlaufer

Anatomy

Listen to Valerie Wetlaufer read her piece:

Our fascination with nature and the natural form :
fashion moved beyond feathers
(Your wedding brooch
made from the talon of a falcon.)
to other parts of bird anatomy and eventually
the entire bird.

My best lines to you are composed on vellum, the skin of a stillborn lamb.
I scrape the hide clean,
remove the hairs and rub it smooth with pumice.
Then washed, dressed with chalk and finished
with a lime wash. This parchment is known
for the absence of imperfection.

You press yourself tightly to me. Whalebone corsets keep us erect.
Breath escapes. All I smell
is hollow bones and flight.

 

Valerie Wetlaufer is a birth doula, poet, Poetry Editor of Quarterly West, and a doctoral fellow at the University of Utah. She has published two chapbooks, Scent of Shatter (Grey Book Press, 2010) and Bad Wife Spankings (Gertrude Press, 2011). For more information, visit valeriewetlaufer.com.
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