(finalist for the 2022  Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest)

“I found it (the world) was not round . . . but pear shaped, round where it has a nipple, for there it is taller, or as if one had a round ball and, on one side, it should be like a woman’s breast, and this nipple part is the highest and closest to Heaven.”
Christopher Columbus, Log of his third voyage

OK so say we’re little pilgrims, little explorers, settler colonizers
circumnavigating the nipple whorl round and round on the Niña the Pinta
the Santa Maria the Mayflower the USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) the USS
Missouri there are little US Army men pawing at my tits sharp ship bows
jabbing at the lymph the little men are unloading their wares and shipping
containers full of trash, they’re laying landmines and dynamite to civilize
my tits they’re building roads and military bases, churches and missionary
encampments and call centers and textile factories they’re digging and
fracking and separating metal from the earth of my tits with mercury,
they’re traveling down my belly and impregnating me expecting me to feed
their little kids when they latch onto my nips little american flags come out
the two orifices and a couple bibles the US constitution and of course
Manifest Destiny and the 1700 pages of the North American Free Trade
Agreement my tits are so sore little paper cuts and bite marks all over them
they’re pocked and sagging. No one wants to build new churches or roads
on them anymore.