Anna boils goathead soup. Sips her fill of Mannish Water broth. How she bothers with her ratty little face. Is this better? Is this the right amount of bother? Anna pinch, pinches her cheeks and wrists. Could be better, but why bother. I’m sick of you. Just gagging on the wind I smell you on. It’s too bad for Anna. Too bad the thing she has is bad feelings. Her face gone dead at the party, slipping forward into pool. What a tantrum she can throw. What a quiet, eaten Anna she can be from time to time. Downpours slick the Anna-asphalt with creosote and rain.


Sylys things. Depleting back home, his closet-sized life. We gross animals. Sings a peeled skin song, car alarm song. An every night, anything shot through with an arrow, wounded dog. Serious and sand dune. Sylys thrashing through the bog. Eats his oysters and sardines, canned salmon, cow cheek and brain. Us animal animal animal. Words stuck to his teeth and throat. Out with it, Sylys! Sleeping with his mouth open, Sylys sings. Animal animal language legs & muzzle bound & broken teeth & tongue time we filthy chew follicles we leaving we wanting wet leaves please let us.


Sylys Man. A man of woods. A forest man. A Sylys woods of silent. He sits so Sylys-serious and quiet. Gnarled Sylys bones, calcium built, bumping up his arms. Sylys lumps and lecherous and oh, where were we, Sylys? Let’s see. Sick, sickly sogging up your breakfast. Up comes the toast. Up berries, up goose down and fingers. Hack, hack. Time for thinking: Where’s Anna? How’s Anna eggshell-brain? Broken and yolking out? Oh, let Anna sizzle in the stove/oven/fire pit/pool/lunch pail, box her up and age her. Sylys loves to make her wait, wait, wait. Make her mouth foam with wanting. Choker chain her Anna-neck. Down, sit, stay, beg, howl hound-dog-Anna. What kind of Sylys would even want you now?

KIM STOLL is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Arizona. She is a wild animal. A wounded animal. Is dangerous when startled or provoked. Her work has recently appeared/will be appearing in ILK, Birdfeast, The Boiler, Alice Blue Review, and Permafrost.