When Told Not to Chronicle Eroticism

-after Mary Szybist

If I were a classical nude, the distance
between my nipples would be

the same as from my nipples
to my belly button, the same distance

from there to the split head
of the pelvis. The body: quiet bone

construct can be charted
in the faults of its architecture.


When the eggs of a Japanese carp are endangered,
the male will suck them into his mouth

and hold them. His mouth, master imitator
of womb, makes teeth from them.

He spits them out like they are dead, finds
a new mate. To begin in the middle

he spits them out like they are dead.


Once, my mother and father slicked
their bodies together, tried to see

how far inside of each other
they could get. Maybe my father put

his fingers inside my mother’s mouth.
They attempted to create one body

from two. My father: root/glacier/bone.
My mother: earth/ocean/socket.


Gilgamesh taught bodies to fear themselves.
His own body: a ziggurat, a spirit trap.

From animal spirits the gods made a man,
Enkidu. Enkidu drank the milk-rivers

of the beasts, ate the greenness of the earth.
A temple prostitute offered her body to him

in supplication. He entered her, did not exit
for seven days. Afterwards, he was so split

from beasts that he could do nothing
but become a ziggurat too.


I cannot chart the moment
when I left boyhood. My bones

had not finished growing,
only stuck their pale heads

into the light of my flesh
and opened their mouths.


Aidan Forster is a sophomore in high school. He studies creative writing at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina, where he is the managing editor of Crashtest, and he is the blog editor of The Adroit Journal. His work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and will appear in the 2015 ART.WRITE.NOW.DC exhibit. He is the recipient of the 2015 Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship, and the winner of the 2015 Say What Open Mic Fresh Out the Oven Poetry Slam. His work appears or is forthcoming from Verse, Polyphony H.S., The Best Teen Writing of 2015, Assaracus, Alexandria Quarterly, Souvenir Lit Journal, The Adroit Journal, and on the HIV Here and Now website.