Sept/Oct 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 5 Poetry |

Oxymoronic Love

Hatred is the new love. Rage is right. Touch is touch. The collars of the coat, turned down, point up. The corners of our hearts are smoothed with rough. Our glass breaks slick, our teeth rip soft. The mollusk of me, shell-less. If the future once was, the past predicted us. The street gives off rhythm. The sun gives off dusk. When we walk, we pour backward. When we have nothing, it's enough. The hunger leaves us satisfied, the fullness leaves us wrung. The sum of all its parts is whole, the reap of it has roots, not took or plucked. Far apart, we move inside our clothes: open is old, young is closed. The fangs we used to bare are milk teeth grown from gums. The fire we used to be scathed by numbs. We run on the track of our consumption, done. We've been ice when liquid is our natural state. We've worn our husks, we've clenched our fists. We scold and punish, scrape, pay a price. We dole out in slanders what has no weight. We pay in cringing for the moments. We open injuries in one

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Jennifer Militello is the author of Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press 2013) and Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Paris Review, New Republic, North American Review, and Best New Poets 2008.

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