Chloe N. Clark
My body is ready still on hard table, arms to sides my body is ready
Things I have learned to do: slip my hands from cuffs as easily as I can slip out of my clothes, shed the metal to floor
The Davenport Brothers were famous for spirit cabinets, for
locking the dead into place and hearing them moan.
I have pressed my hands to walls, have felt your body against mine, have listened to the sound of your heart beating fast and hard
My body is ready waiting for you, for swords my body is ready
Things I have learned to do: not flinch when knives sink into wall around me, skimming past me so narrowly that they pin my clothes, not flinch when imagining all those almost cuts on my skin
Others exposed the Davenport Brothers, lit flames in
the dark, revealing the tangle of limbs moving.
My body is ready breath fast, heart pounding my body is ready
Things I have learned to do: open my mouth wide, feel your fingertips caress my lips, as you pull roses from my throat, careful the thorns don’t cut my tongue
Still there were so many who came back again
and again, willing to be fooled, to see the dead live.
My body is ready skin hot, breath fast my body is ready
Things I have learned to do: stay so still as to seem dead, holding breath as I count the alphabet up and count it again, so still that the audience gasps, leans forward, begs you to wake me
Others say the trickery involved was an innocent kind-
ness, letting hope fill the audiences, breath into bodies.
My body is ready holding breath, waiting my body is ready to let you in
Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment. Her work appears in Apex, Bartleby Snopes, Hobart, a previous issue of Liminality, and more. She currently teaches composition and can be found @PintsNCupcakes.