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By Amanda Auchter

Like you, I am most vulnerable

under a clouded moon, strips

of dead stars. I press my hands

toward little nebulas. There is

nothing between my body

and the dark sky. I am another

type of galaxy, spinning through

the damp earth, leaf-strewn,

twig marked. But here, I am

falling in love with myself again,

with my red lips, my clean bones.

I search my skin for its own

galaxies: imperfect constellations,

little moles, faded scars

on my naked back. My body made

of nightbirds, shadow-bloomed

jasmine. This body I starved,

scabbed, cut. I catalog each place

I am touched, each place made

light. Like you, I am made of bright

dust, firmament, solar flare.

Unclothed to shoulders, nipples,

hips. Praise this beauty, how

it mends, mourns. Praise

the faithful dawn, breath’s white

fog, cricket song, arms that reach up

toward the wild, shimmering blue.


Amanda Auchter is the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry and the 2012 Perugia Press Book Award, and The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry.

Her recent work appears or is forthcoming at The Huffington Post, CNN, Crab Creek Review, Rust + Moth, Shenandoah, The Indianapolis Review, The West Review, and the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day project.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and runs the online shop, Midnight Apothecary.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.


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