Tavye Neese





We do not see the plague we have loosed
upon ourselves, hear wings 
beat, beat, marking time.

Without boils, we are still pocked.
Without lesions we covet another life,

anything but our own.
How to make a home in the cell

and bone we’ve been given?
Settle upon it like dust

until we’ve coated each fissure,
bulge, hesitant finger,

all sounds from the tongue.
If we find self-love,

it’s hastened only by the locusts—
their whir and song.


Originally published in Poetry City, USA.
Forthcoming in Locust from Salmon Poetry.