By Amanda Auchter
You tell me not to get lost in the forest,
but I was born of damp leaves
and whippoorwill cries. I fit sorrow into
the wasp nest in the sweet gum trees
and at night, my skin is moon-pale
and just as cold. You, like all lovers,
watched me drag my feet through
the wilderness and wanted to save me
from the dark. I am the dark,
dearest. You cannot rescue
what is already wild, the animal,
its midnight call. I was the one
who climbed into your mouth
and wanted so much of you —
tongue, iris, shoulder blade,
and cock. Don’t save me,
love. Let me make you of mud
and sticks, of quills and river
stones. Let me slip you into my dress
and wear you next to me. Wear you out,
wear you down, wear you until you fall
from my torn skirts, and I bury you.
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.