Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Art Farm; Snake Bites Orit Fox, Israeli Model, on the Breast, Later Dies of Silicone Poisoning; Two Pots

Art Farm; Snake Bites Orit Fox, Israeli Model, on the Breast, Later Dies of Silicone Poisoning; Two Pots
Photograph via Flickr by Marc Wathieu

Art Farm
        —after Wim Delvoye

Their hearts are so like our own.
Our skin and theirs, interchangeable.
They too like to smoke and watch TV.

Their sense of taste
is more evolved than ours,
but their snouts
are mere nubs.

They too understand
that what they see
in a mirror is real,
but they spend much time
absorbed in their own reflections.

In the womb
for a brief time
they are nearly
indistinguishable from us.

Our young have even suckled
at their breasts.

In fact, their flesh is so similar to our own
that when they eat us
undercooked, our parasites
pass from our bodies
to theirs
without knowing the difference.

 

Snake Bites Orit Fox, Israeli Model, on the Breast, Later Dies of Silicone Poisoning
        —headline

One kind of looking
is venomous. The other sops up
poison like a dry rag.

Photons are a million
hypodermic teeth. This Potemkin village
of a heart is propped up
by sticks in the back. A man in the wings
turning the crank that works my mouth, pumping
the bellows of my lungs with his foot.

Dear god, please shoot me
from my good side: the albedo of my teeth,
measured in lumens, measured in watts, measured
in megatons.

If you bite me, how can I be
the villain? If it is in your nature
to bite, in mine to be
bitten?

It’s Cleopatra who says the greatest are misthought
for things others do. And she welcomed
that last kiss to her breast.

It’s not true, this poisoning. Even if you could
suck the venom from me, how could it kill

you, eater of vermin, you who dissolve
fur and bone as I might

a cube of sugar on my tongue? When we fall,
we answer others’ merits in our name.

My name means light, each ravenous particle
gnawing at the eye. Look at me.

Now look at you.

Are we not therefore to be pitied?

The Two Pots
        “For that,” he said, “is just what I am most afraid of. One touch from you and I         should be broken in pieces.”—Aesop

At the Henry Vilas Zoo, put your face through
the cutout where the orangutan’s
face should be. These are my two long arms.
The thumb touches the middle finger
lightly just so. My voice is a forest
of voices in the forest. I’m learning the ancient art
of staring the plastic fronds
into flame. If only I could
speak, I’d say
I told you so.
Now smile.