Breath Temperature



Maybe I’ve always been a cozy animal

A bed bug, nestled in the seam of your mattress
Waiting for nocturnal stillness
Vampiric notation of midnight snacks

An eel, eminently slippery
Underbite crazy eyes
Waiting to crush you with toothy multitudes

Two beans, spooning in amniotic red
A new opening called a womb, later
A mouth carved from goo tissue

I wait in murk
Poke from my pook like a disobedient tongue
Sediment settling all around like a blanket
Like Nyx calling night
Like I sleep with my back to the wall
Safe from stabbing

I knew calcified little ways of eating by month three
Anticipated masserating remnants
Sucking cheeks
Tonguing at muck from birth
Sweet and salty memories turned
Agents of decay

There’s a way out
Of this heavy heat
It’s an obstacle course of infuscate chambers.
At the other lit opening
There’s a waiting room
Decorated in chairs, it’s
Where we’re sitting now
At some point everyone in this room learned to wait their turn
For ritual cleansing
For their scale of rot to be pondered

I have taken it upon myself to imagine us
In one routine orifice
Finally able to smell our own breath
We’re in one mouth
Droplets combined to make one patient reservoir
We have been underwater
Alone together we’re reminded of
What it feels like before and
After we’re alive

Fidgeting together we imagine
Private futures of streets and distractions
Of flicking buttons
Of hot Luft of
Hot bare legs of
Hot divets sealed with cooling agent
Whether rot is decay or digestion

We don’t believe in heaven
We believe in the passage of food


Bitsy Knox · Breath Temperature (2019)


  • This poem was published in Bastardos (Pure Fyction), 2019
  • Copyright © 2019 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.