The Monster Is Familiar by Emily Anne Hopkins

The page: a body
is this, a body is that.
The threat: internal

and opaque. This might mean
the girl is external to everything.
Mirrors double the quick

movement. Impossible pleasure—
to picture her own closed eyes.
A mask of lack: the nose missing

and sharp contours. What double
skin is this? The monster
hands her a daisy,

and she takes it into
her mouth. The monster likes
to see her well-fed.

This moaning girl-beast
tells herself: your stitchy-smile
is very lovely.

The monster
takes her into his arms
and cradles her.

He releases her to the water— a flightless
thing. The girl. The monster. The water. Pond scum, goose feather,
the drag of hands through water.

The theorist: the girl
is supposed to look
at and identify with the monster.

The monster knows wetness is internal to the self,
makes masks of hair and clothing-
softens the stitches. The girl’s face opens, opens.

————
Emily Anne Hopkins is a poet and activist living in Rhode Island. She studied poetry at University of Pittsburgh (MFA) and Albion College (BA). She has served as poetry co-editor for Hot Metal Bridge and taught creative writing to High School and undergraduate writers. Her most recent work has appeared/is forthcoming in Quaint Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, Twelfth House Journal, and Poets.org.

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