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/valerie witte

8, To Be Rent at the Seams


Vanished by chance a scorch of hair a trench of maps almanacs



A map of bones, deliberately altered | Then skin became a boundary, a way to hold herself together when fiber was forbidden | no scorn in branding: an ankle engraved: adornment by darkening, areolae to lesser extents | abdominal | She knew it would happen this way, in plural, settling | to gas any gum | She differed now also a scorch of hair minimized | sometimes stretching several miles in this latitude a continual state of turnover | She was almost human, anyway


In marine animals, caribou | tattooed and pierced | She tried gauffering, women’s caps | a strata of cells insinuate themselves in one direction, then | overcoming traits already written, keeping like with like | If she medicated early | mascaras, lashes learn to filter ultraviolet | air deflected or disregarded curvature | Primarily for frills, ribbing | knitted doublets | But a stronger drug could do more harm (vanished by chance) | the contaminant of a single plant foraging sunlight | once chosen, one to die


To card into drawers, the weight of cloths | A frame fitted, fallers | for cotton, worsted | corresponding to each means of genitalia | becoming obsolete a compromise | Caused by osmosis to concede pooling | under eyes, around the mouth a mask is lasting and intensifies with successive pregnancies | Punished for the capacity to give: birth thoughts she would never | require hanks on cheeses, jiggers or stars | a cylindrical spar slung standard foliage and blooms | Each one a yard as a drum rotating, mulberry |

Valerie Witte is the author of a game of correspondence (Black Radish Books, 2015) and The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow (Operating System, 2019), a collaboration with Sarah Rosenthal. Chapbooks include The history of mining (g.e. collective/Poetry Flash, 2013) and It’s been a long time since I’ve dreamt of someone (Dancing Girl Press, 2018). Valerie’s work has appeared in literary journals such as VOLT, Diagram, Dusie, Alice Blue, Shampoo, Interim, and elsewhere. Valerie has attended residencies through The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, Ragdale Foundation, and La Porte Peinte Center for the Arts in Noyers, France, and is a founding member of the Bay Area Correspondence School.

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