A Story Is Lurking Under Your Pillow — Emöke Pulay

Listen: Lucian is telling you
A True Story. He has been mixing water with wine;
he has been cutting into the flesh of fish.
I hope that you are not tired of whale bones,
whale mouths, slow-moving bits of whale in your dinner,
the infirm islands of whale tongues, the scales
lining the insides of whales’ cheeks,
the algae-like forests that grow
at the roots of their teeth,
dank whale-breath in your mouth and nose and hair,
the absolute eclipse of closed whale-mouth,
the stagnant saliva of whale, bubbly like imperfect glass,
the massive, knelling uvulae of whale,
the tired little dinner parties that spring up
among those with nothing more in common
than being stranded in a whale with no decent cutlery.
Of course, there is always a fire
that ends in near-catastrophe and escape
to the blanket of the sea and an island of courtesans.
Lucian’s courtesans are ravenous.
They melt into pools of water
which, when you prick them with your sword,
will bleed profusely but—he claims—without pain.

Emöke Pulay recently graduated with an MFA from the University of Arkansas and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Willow Springs and Beloit Poetry Journal.

Typo — Issue Two