POKÉDEX ENTRY #91: CLOYSTER by Marlin M. Jenkins

Even a missile can’t break the spikes it uses to stab opponents. They’re even harder than its shell.


                     i dreamt a calcified sculpture     fashioned from my own

                               intestines prodded     the bottom of the sea.

                           found a groove to finger.     found an eye-less beast.

               found a detached shell     to hold upright.

                                         as a child     i dreamt of swords

                                to carve an opening     for entrails to trail a path

                     out the front door.      i dream my fingers

                      sharpened and stone     on the ends of spears.

                               how thankful i am     for the movement of blood

                          as its flow stays within     my callous body, thankful 

               for the man's shit-tipped     finger as it leaves me

                                              split. do not enter              with your eyes. there is a dark

                             cavern in me, waiting.     there is a spiked monster

                       there, protecting friend     whose sharp jostling

           reminds me of how my own     cardiac current flows.

           we bleed and keep the door         shut. we both are afraid of light.


MARLIN M. JENKINS was born and raised in Detroit and is the author of the poetry chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press, 2020). His poetry and fiction have been given homes by Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Waxwing, and Iowa Review, among others. He teaches writing and literature at University of Michigan, where he earned his MFA in poetry. You can find him online at marlinmjenkins.com You can follow Marlin on Twitter. You can follow Marlin on Instagram.




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