I must do the books.
I must type the type.
I must say the words and speak the speech.

Technical terms these,
Innocence and violence.

True love makes man into piñata.

Salty spiral of comfortable chaos,
A tiny riot of battling dendrites,
Opera of dead bees and cocaine,
Wagnerian warehouse of silence and silver rats,

You cannot deny that man is his own accidental invention.

A collection of spinal column orientations is all that makes a person who he is and they are dangerously easy to mimic and eventually accidentally embrace as one’s own, an element of the unwittingly fabricated self.

Mine is really just a scrapbook of things I’ve seen and people I’ve wished I was for reasons I could not understand or dared not admit. The sham of my identity is no more important than your average kleenex.

I want to shrink to the size of an apple seed.
I want to be a sound with no bones, mere aether.
I want to feel no pain, to be 500 years old,
To have no ears or genitalia,
To go blind,
To destroy the sexual architecture of ilia and sacrum,

To whittle my bones to points like bamboo,
And shove them under the fingernails of eros.

For beauty is dirt.
For I will grow old and stupid anyways.

For I find a mad beast in this mirror of romance.
A pressure cooker of fragility and yearning,
So sober and salty,

It’s nothing like the pornography I’d dreamed of in my youth.



The Nearest Paradise


The door to the balcony is open.
The curtains sound like whispers.

In a morphine slumber
Her cheeks are pink
Her eyes windows to dollhouses.

I did not know it would be like this.
Charcoal creatures seeping
From the cracks between today
And the forever that waits.

I did not know
About the uselessness
Of family at a time when
We all do this alone.

Chattering jaw and blue lips.
Shocking how soon we begin to move again
Once she has stopped.
Flurry of noise, preparations
For the end of the end.
It is time to cover the stillness.
Only numbers and open windows and ink left.

Hello passing cloud.
I carve out a home for you in my chest
A fluttering presence
A winged blindness.

So what is it
You mean to tell me?
Am I my mother’s ghost?
Am I the slowest plan?

I find a casket
Polished ebony
In a white dust labyrinth
Under lily moon.
But it will not openfor my comprehension.

It seems each word of the dying is a clue to a puzzle
But our research doesn’t matter.
The other world
Is invitation only.


Katie Anhalt is a performer, writer, and teacher. Her creative pursuits began with contemporary dance and veered into performance art, centering around queer and feminist themes. She began creating poetry and prose for the purpose of incorporating it into her performances. Her written work has been used in several productions for stage and theater, but is previously unpublished. She is now a secondary school English teacher in Liechtenstein.