Issue 10,  Poetry

Recumbent Pudica by J.L. Lapinel

I was spit out the other end 
of an arrogance high 
a confident saunter 
into adult separation
as if peeling the dysfunction from my skin 
would lead to a cellular replacement 

Now a renewed adolescent
I yearn for the small angled reflective pieces 
of a dissolving (dys)funhouse 
No, you wouldn’t fit through the keyhole 
it’s made custom 
for my skeletal remains 

My mother wore the key
from a beaded utility chain
as if a firm pull of it 
would illuminate 
and burst 
the Dali day-to-day 

The drape of my balletic gesture 
the last remnant 
of a taffy existence 
between the clicks of double A battery
powering so many clocks 

There are faint deep-voiced hints
-tearing through my grey fabric-
of the rulebook being read aloud 
to my slow developing drums 
off with her head 
and knights, two-dimensionally 
avoiding that I exist 
The flying simians 
and pretty poppies 
mortaring the layers 
of foundational acceptance 
that otherness 
will get me killed 

That if I tuck myself 
smaller smaller 
into cornered wombs 
the hands lips fingers and fists 
will swarm by unnoticed 
and I will laugh, with heaving
having stolen a small piece 
of myself 
they couldn’t touch 

but I can’t help feeling 
I’m late I’m late 
for something really important 
-my father repeated-
but the clocks are all 
in recumbent pudica
and I can’t remember 
where I hid 
that last piece


J.L. Lapinel is a Latinx writer and educator from Manhattan who is presently an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst. Her work appears in Yellow Arrow Journal, The Wellington Street Review, Cambridge Collection and North American Poetry Review among others. J.L.’s work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. She can be found on Twitter @jelelasp. 

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