The Body, The Ticket
by Renia White
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mama’s mouth tasted of metal so they gave her insulin,
a fear of large fruit
another ticket for a train to the convention,
life on the banners, death in the booths.
I tie my bones to the back of the Doraville-bound train
with teeth like rice and the kind of body that dies.
the man I love eats little sugar, has small lungs,
a big head, no tongue for my sweet-current heart.
just then, like a baby cousin shot mid-glide, windsongs
whistling through the new mouth on his chest,
someone’s daddy sat on the tracks after flying
rail pass on the platform in remembrance.
one man says, I dropped that! to stop the crowd.
“dropped that?” I wonder—the body or the ticket?
and my head feels like a casket full of electricity,
a throbbing disconnected from the heart
a man with no love, no power, a mama searching
for escape, but the body exploding in on itself
means I am melting even the scissors to untie
those bones that clack in competition.
Renia White received her MFA from Cornell University where she is a lecturer teaching writing. Winner of Sonora Review’s 2016 poetry contest and the 2015 Hurston/Wright award for college writers, her work appears or is forthcoming in The New Guard, Stone Canoe, The Offing, Public Pool, Prelude, Sonora Review and elsewhere.