I Thought It Was a Portal, But Actually
I slept inside an autoclave.
I dreamt it was a quarry.
I stepped through the double doors.
I stretched to grasp the bigger meaning.
I shed it like a robe.
I dove to the substratum.
I fumbled with the metal latch.
I spoke its several names.
I scrubbed the walls and floors.
I tried on all my mother’s clothes.
I donned her big sunglasses.
I mirrorgazed for hours.
I mobilized my weapons.
I asked in several different languages.
I visualized an exit strategy.
I acquired all moving targets.
I drew my hands away from the levers.
I unscrewed the instrument panel.
I burrowed beneath the wires.
I touched only the corners of the portrait.
I took my ink, defaced her likeness.
and I took the knife from my belt to extract
the image of the child who sat in my mother’s lap.
Jill Khoury is interested in the intersection of poetry, visual art, representations of gender, and disability. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Copper Nickel, Inter|rupture, and Portland Review. She edits Rogue Agent, a journal of embodied poetry and art. Her chapbook Borrowed Bodies was released from Pudding House Press (2009). Her first full-length collection, Suites for the Modern Dancer, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications (2016). You can find her at jillkhoury.com.
Bill Wolak is a poet, photographer, and collage artist. He has just published his twelfth book of poetry entitled Love Opens the Hands with Nirala Press. His collages have been published in over thirty magazines including The Annual, Peculiar Mormyrid, Danse Macabre, Dirty Chai, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Lost Coast Review, Yellow Chair Review, Otis Nebula, and Horror Sleaze Trash. Recently, he was a featured poet at The Hyderabad Literary Festival. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey.