Nest-Body by Erin Vance

Poem name: Nest-Body Poet name: Erin Vance Poem begins: When she comes in through the hotel window, moths flock to her. They flutter against her shoulders, sip on her breasts, drawing out honey with their eyes. The wildflowers creep up her legs. There are flat stones under her feet, a strange hand on her back. His fingers are rough from running through her, fingering the bark on her chest.   She runs farther each day, curses further each day  he forces her to run with babies clutching her lungs till she dies.   With her sisters she hangs naked  from the roof-beams of ill-intentioned men. Blood-soaked, their shadows strike corvus across the ground.   Men flock to her. When she comes in through the chimney, they rip her hair from her head  with their teeth, suck and suck on her empty breasts. She crushes them in their sleep, heels forced into eye sockets.   Feel them.  End of Poem.  Credits: Copyright © Erin Vance Forthcoming in A History of Touch, (Guernica Editions, 2022) Erin Emily Ann Vance is the author of the novel Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers (Stonehouse Publishing 2019), and the poetry collection A History of Touching (Guernica Editions 2022), as well as six chapbooks of poetry. Vance was a recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize in 2017 (nominated by Aritha van Herk) and a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards for her short story “All the Pretty Bones.” She lives in rural Alberta with her partner and dog.