Peel Back Wallpaper

By Julia Bohm

my body there, against the wall.
Pressed up kissing.

I paint pictures on the envelopes --
flowers flowers,

and big, tall trees
that grow past paper & stamps,

make forests in mailboxes.
You want to know what happened?

There is one atmosphere of pressure on me always except
underwater,

there are two atmospheres pressing down on the fish.
Some fish have lightbulbs

for eyes.
Some fish live between the wallpaper & me

in their own aquarium.
I say: my body looks like a big big fish tank.

Sharks swimming through my heart
sharks everywhere,

& an octopus unscrewing jars full
of air.

Groff says:
your body

is a sack of water.
I say:

my body is a sack full of teeth.
Teeth swimming

with gills &
legs,

arms & bone.
I’m a body made of bone.

Touch my skin I’m
calcified.

I sleep eyes closed shut
mouths closed shut.

I send envelopes full of teeth.
Jagged & jagged.

I spend too much time on these sad bones --
brush & floss every night.

In the mirror I watch teeth
unhook from my gums

& fall.

Share: