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/caroline chavatel

This Fabulous Century II

This circus: in the Forepaugh, bodies shuffle into cooperation. Look

at the ribbon: how it tresses her hair as delicate as a greeting

card sent with raw news. I’m tired of similes for how the world

is so whole—would it be too easy to say we juggle the fruit of our

wombs like seeds on the way to plant? That we

are always missing the cues for how to act replete when

really we are filled with hunger tinted green?

This Fabulous Century III

In every cold sweat

is the heat

of a machine beating its mechanical

hand against

your beast. It asks, turn me on?

awakening you from the dream

that is your own swelter,

your own half-off.

Caroline Chavatel is the author of White Noises (GreenTower Press, 2019), which won The Laurel Review’s 2018 Midwest Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Sixth Finch, AGNI, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner,and The Journal, among others. She is editor and co-founder of both Madhouse Press and The Shore and is currently a PhD student at Georgia State University.

Illustration by Aliya Smith.

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