Kathleen L. Taylor – Three Poems


Body Theory

After disassembling you,
every blown-out molecule
was reviewed and portioned to
its cell, awaiting reboot.

It is arguable you
did not exist then.

Soon, each cell began to peal,
begging to be built
back into you again.

We stacked you, matched you
according to the blueprint.

Dumbstruck, no one had hypothesized
that when a body is re-reconciled,
it is another body – entire.

What you became was
not bodiless, but
a bodiless function.

No permutation of atoms
made sense afterward.

Triolet for the Truncated Trimester

I bade my body what it meant,
I did not bid the cell mass this:
Am I to wax an accident?

I urged my body what it meant,
to turn this germ into a nonevent,
to halt this foreign poiesis?

I bore my body what it meant.
I did not bear the cell mass this –
and I have felt swell ever since.

Bodily Acknowledgements

Who is the interpreter of onerous moles?
The body spots. It knows
when to compose raised epistles        
of the locust’s exhibition underneath.

Costumed in grafts, this carcass
is patched like the worn boots of blue-
collar fathers nursing private buboes.

Welts distend
from this lip, affording it
room for insects exiting the wound.

Should honest meat accrue
and putrefy beneath, it
turns a peaky shade of purple-blue. 

We, edged in organ,
exist in sympathetic beef.

Under electrodes fixed at the temples,
activity unabashedly parades
a pornography of impulses.

Detritus in the gutter of the
minute gap dislodges
misbirthed messages that fizz
out in slow release
after crossing threshold.

Gathered in the mantle’s folds,
dog-eared particulars chafe
soused bone in the skull.

This corpus callosum is slung
in cerebrospinal spiced-rum,
with a touch of amniotic water
from the mother,
still tempering through.

Some ancestrally plucked, high-
pitched clarion reverberates.
We refer to it as nervousness.

The bilging inflatable locked
in on the right is hammier, an
amateur, compared
to the left, which shares
its area of chest
with the valved cardinal clock.

Emphatically phonating abreast
of the bedrock, the keynote accepts
accolade for their deathless
attempts at unearthing tongues.

Tell it strange or not at all,
the sinuses bid the bronchioles.

Imperative is the veracity
of this gas exchange.

This is just the foregut outpouching
itself. A pneusance, due to its
unactualized translucence.

Something guttural goes backwards,
latently lusting after something vascular.

It is midwinter in the cardiac cycle;
an ornately gloved fist makes pace.

In this quadruple-
chambered chicken coop,
anything is possible.

The aorta might be extorted,
trimmed for a trident, or
a tricked-out bludgeon.

With mortar and pestle
haste, pistons deftly amalgamate
gossip of inferior valves, the valves
that can’t help themselves, gushing
confessions to the stethoscope.

One red receptacle, one bashful
vestibule bypassing whimsical waste.
Syrupy clots of quixotic humor recycled
to paint an enflamed hyena face.

Systole, diastole, and the intervening pause
suffuse auspices through
this oneiric tumor.

Applause, first galloping
then murmuring, becomes
nearly electric, a buzz of rubbed palms.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is a dynamic state of being achieved or recognized when something exists in distinct execution.


Kathleen L. Taylor is an MFA candidate specializing in poetry at the University of California, Riverside where she serves as poetry editor for the Santa Anna River Review. Her work has appeared in Foothill JournalSouthern Women’s ReviewThe McNeese Review, and White Stag, among others. She can easily be found journeying through dictionaries and thesauruses to unearth infrequently used words and obsessively reading biographies of her favorite poets.