It begins to feel
like a ceremony itself. Sacrifice
the opposite of blood. You put
the goat back together, melt
the blade down to ore, graft
the scaffold back onto the trees.
A sort of god, or beastly warden
guarding a sacred section of sky.
Seven-headed eel, fire-breathing
flower, bone-white condor with
a scorpion’s wicked tail—I bend
to you in wrapt devotion, but due
to the erotic nature of bending
I’m cooked, stung, beaten, eaten.
My expanding empty emperor,
I repeat your name into the mirror
as my body grows, unfolds, until
I wear a gown of myself, loops
of lard pooling around my ankles.
Myth, I submit. May you have no
edges. May the priestess leave me
in the meadow once it is done—
the vow made and kept. May she
leave me writhing in this miserly
flesh—an offering, a dancer
out of the flood.
Jeremy Radin is a poet, actor, playwright, teacher, and extremely amateur gardener. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Ploughshares, The Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Slow Dance with Sasquatch (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012) and Dear Sal (not a cult press, 2017). He was born and lives in Los Angeles where he earned his MFA in Eating Large Sandwiches at Brent’s Delicatessen. Follow him @germyradin