Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
When I sink my teeth into you,
there is a taste, a satisfaction, the start
of a match, the catch in your throat.
We are rich with the exhilarations
of our blood, we are rich with our
print-blackened roots, like the crowns
of my teeth in you cracked like dirt,
enamel-fragile and eggshell-veined. I sink
my teeth and they knit your history
a coat. I shut the cold like a tap
and lean like a trunk and we unravel
as though thread and when we fall,
the quiet is like a feather, like
a bough. It was a God I held
in the trap of my mouth, in you,
my rabbit gone limp, my bite
at your neck and me tasting fur
like wind and me tasting the scent
of you melted as wax. A wick lit,
it was my path, it was a desire
to solidify and start. At the front.
At the back. In the lip. At its cry.
No dry soul unsickened yet. I sink
my teeth. I notch your depth. I prove
it has terror, an Atlantic I’ve wept.
Jennifer Militello’s poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She is author of the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Support us with a donation this giving season.
Robin D. G. Kelley on the midterm elections.
What we have achieved this year—and our plans for 2023.