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On Cordyceps

back out

this chest

        feet first

                 pulped skin

                        an exposé

step into your mouth

my newest home to rot inside

here — open wide!

follow my heaving

its dulled incisors

lunging

gnawing

collapsing

                  on the beat

is this familiar?

do you know

        what comes what’s next?

no invitation needed

with the naïve

sorry —

i mean the welcoming

wait!

i promise

if i could love

you

i would

pluck

        pluck

               pluck-ed

each lash to wish you lover

enough to replace

a bloodline

please

take this

shivering fist

soured throat

bouquet of wire

all i can scavenge

of my pre-disposition

please

drag me closer

to what keeps me

                                  alive


Mae Verano is a queer Ilokano writer, researcher, and MSW student from East Side San Jose, CA. They are a Pink Door Fellow, and their writing can be found in The Offing and Caesura. Their work aims to unravel our understandings of tradition, canon, and empire – centering a return to community and to self. Follow them on IG @mae.summer.

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