TasseomancyI want to ask the tea leavesTasseomancy by Taralitha
dredged in my cup. Little ocean
rolling over my tongue, each dreg
another taboo against begging
for another night of you:
Dark hair arranged fan-tail
against green cotton; each eye
a walnut marble seeking me,
scanning my deepest depths,
finding me worthy only for a week.
The moonlight pricked our fingers,
our hands clasped so tight:
in the morning I felt arthritic
as I untangled our young bones.
But what could I query to the tea?
I know the fire has died down
inside your coal-stove heart;
all that's left is hardwood
and the ash of my kisses
smudged against your cheeks.
The answers are not there
in the porcelain.
They are plain on your face.
I swallow the bitter washes
of the end of the cup,
and call for something stronger.
Of A MirrorSomething so freshOf A Mirror by Taralitha
in being the way nature made you;
a younger, shier me would have repulsed
this heavy body, the soft folds of flesh,
skin curling around the pubis,
Boyfriends and girlfriends have faded,
but I remain, not unscarred,
though unconquered, a chariot of bone,
brittle but bending - firm but folding -
variegated marks showing where I have grown.
I am a legion of one,
legend of solace, held in esteem by myself.
Show me those who have learned accept,
and I tell you - that is a warrior.
The Miserly LoverHow, in the bloom of youth,The Miserly Lover by Taralitha
she sewed flowers in my hair;
I tasted wild garlic on her tongue
and was repulsed.
Flinging her jewels to the dust.
Her body wracked with sobbing.
How, in another's eyes,
she might be beautiful!
The shivering lips drawn tight
for a kiss - the scent of sea
and salt in her hair.
A mind unceasing;
bleeding, loyal heart.
To me she rings empty.
There are delights
darker than bedclothes,
more pressing caresses
than the stroke of a lover.
Dusk corrupts my body.
I have drunk the brack-water,
the river of regrets,
and paid the ferryman my tithe:
the ring bugling our union.
So many sorries unsaid.
I sink to be forgotten.
The Dark and the DogDog licking a hole in his side.The Dark and the Dog by Taralitha
He does it every autumn.
Tenderly he scrapes away fur
and meat from his own hide,
leaving pale flesh scabbing,
freckles exposed to the sun.
Kennel becomes a self-tannery.
No amount of spray or unguent
stops the tongue from rasping,
nervous mutilation in the face
of endless winter snows.
Brown eyes seeking something in me
that I do not know of myself.
I am no healer.
Wounds come and close without my bidding.
There is a spell in the dark night that calls us close.
October leads us all to remember mortality,
to dig graves and pray before our flesh yet dies.
I am a transgender, disabled, published author of two poetry compilations. My work has been featured in several compilations and specialty publications as well as student newspapers and other outlets. |
Currently I attend University of Illinois-Chicago, majoring in British Literature and minoring in Classics and Gender and Women's Studies. I intend to pursue a graduate degree in Conflict Studies, with the hopes of becoming a professor and consultant aiming to eradicate sexual violence against women and the disabled and understanding sexual violence and the dynamics of disability throughout history. I work at two nonprofits, the Better Business Bureau and Porchlight Counseling Services, a nonprofit which provides free counseling to individuals who have been sexually assaulted during college. In my free time I kayak, care for my two ferrets and guinea pig, read nonfiction focusing on anthropology and criminology, and learn more about any topic that strikes my fancy. I hope to move to Scotland upon completion of my undergraduate degree and am seeking a Fulbright to continue my research.
Professionally, academically, and personally, I conduct and pursue research related to disability, sexual violence, gender, spirituality, and interdisciplinary methods of understanding the links between these subjects. Those who are interested in these avenues of study are free to contact me at email@example.com.