Maura Pellettieri

Maura Pellettieri received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Connotations Press, Apogee, Guernica, Fairy Tale Review, Tammy Journal, and others. She is a 2016 recipient of the Edward F. Albee Fellowship.





You want to touch the smallness,

pppppppppppppppppeven in my saint you want to touch

the smallness of my saint, my ribbed


pppppppppppppppppcock, you want to hold

yourself and me to be responsible for

pppppppppppppppppall your fingers. Whoever’s mouth belongs


to who. No one

pppppppppppppppppbelongs here, that is why it

is good. The shape of flooding


pppppppppppppppppis a circle. We have wants and we have

shapes underneath ourselves. I have nothing on

pppppppppppppppppmy mind. The body has thoughts. You want


to write this one on me: I could oblige

pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppit. Who is the I? What the

ppppppppppppppppppit? If I consider


third parties. Still the I

pppppppppppppppppthe I the it, the

pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppit, the it.





no one lives

against time. truth


is a post-mortem—although in other ways, I returned /

integrated the devil

into the hours of my body in the looking

glass, the story not

unwound / nothing

in the tall grass now

but light; nothing in the light but rabbit’s

children; children gone again, grown

to elementals. children are particulate, over,

beyond us in unremembered lands and weather

always gathers alternate weather; for example,

I thought I was married but a citrus turned white and

dropped from the sky. for example,

if you force / growth, I will

become force—or, who is the most


one? O—probably not the devil.


I have gathered many bodies here, this forest

over the truncated years / the ruins / are not

weakness / show what is softened: the bodies, molting where my children.

where my children cut. disburdening. where my children

harvested their bodies

against each other. and did irreparable

harm with wordless sibilance. what is scoffed at:

me. time

always comes true, always

comes first. where you rest,

beloved, beyond the beautiful

flattering elephants

who whisper

what you are not, listen

to my dreams

threaten. you, for

example. how peaceful /

we are in terror.


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