sporklet 14

Claire Denson

If You Have to Die, Let Me

be your maggot. 
When I climb


in through your cheek, 
you’ll greet me 


gaping, skin
like honeycomb. 


Your sweetness 
dripping out 


each pore.
You won’t stir


a sound, just smile
steady. Each morning 


I’ll wake smelling 
of you and everywhere


I’ll look is you; the sky,
your ribs; the ground,


your spine. While your skin
strips away like petals


from a flower, I can leap
across your open 


palm finger to finger 
without you 


clenching down. Encased
in the sleeping bag 


of your arteries, I’ll toss 
between tendons, bathe


in your bowels, burrow 
my body in your lung. 


Gliding along your aorta, 
I won’t worry about where 


your heart lies, or my place 
in it. I’ll know 


what it tastes like. 
I’ll writhe among your 


lingering pieces as they blend 
with liver and spleen, 


which at this point
are both useless 


except to me. Come night 
I’ll lay my body 


on the pillow of your brain
to ask about your day


as if you could answer,

as if you could leave.

Claire Denson is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal and holds an MFA from UNC Greensboro, where she served as Editorial Intern for The Greensboro Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Stirring, and Hobart, among others. You can find her at clairedenson.com.