March 6, 2012KR OnlinePoetry

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

We’ll tell you
what a corpse is.

It’s a girl

with her shoes
on backward.

It’s a double-
jointed girl.

It’s a glass eye
in a glass jar
in the snapped jaw
of an alligator

It’s a doll

whose eyes move

of their own accord

when you turn
just so.

It’s a busted
through which
the worm
can thread
her lonely

Her lover
done gone.

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

If you’re looking for something pretty
nestled in the fold
of this leprous bosom,
come closer. Snap, snap.

We loved craftily.
We infected ourselves,
and tranq’d ourselves,
and drank ourselves
silly and sang:

What a dumb-dumb-
a useless piece
of ugly meat.

Then, in the dark,
beneath the musty
woolens, bunched,
snuggled and fed

a slinky heaven.

And now?

And now?

Nothing soft
slinks our way

that isn’t wet
with what you’d call


To read more poems by Danielle Pafunda, purchase the Spring 2012 issue.

Danielle Pafunda’s poetry collections include the forthcoming Manhater (Dusie Press Books) and Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press). She was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series.