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Blood and Body, Perry Gasteiger

CW: mentions of blood, pain, & bodily harm

We walked all night

with shoes full of blood,

and at dawn cast them off

to dance barefoot over rocks

with iron-stained faces

bearing our naked soles

and uncalloused toes.

Arches fall, tendons collapsing

under the weight of standing reverent,

bones grind to dust

inside the folds of our skin

and we crawl on knees rubbed raw,

gouge palms on jagged stone

as prostrations shatter

what's left of tattered limbs.

Mangled trunks inch forward like worms

writhing on warm pavement,

rolling onto sun-blistered backs,

praying to an empty sky until

we bite off our tongues,

leaving us choking in fountains

of our own transubstantiation.


Perry Gasteiger is a queer, non-binary poet. Their work focuses on the mundane darkness of our everyday world using juxtaposition between the real and the abstract, the beautiful and the deformed, the congruent and the disordered. Perry aims to see the easily unnoticeable in an evocative and empathetic way.

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