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yes my heart is pumping this red warmth through

By Kendall Southworth

On some mornings I awaken to

find the world in a smooth simmer,

a patient seething animated by my observation alone.

Outside, the light of a gauzy sun nudges the space between my brows,

a muslin cloth over the glaring organism so that

what reaches me is a starchy whiteness which

I could floss out of the air like spun sugar if I were nimble enough.

My belly is pressed through the opening slits of a pool chair,

a dense pulp resisting a mesh strainer.

Peering through the narrow cave between my forearm and the woven polyester,

assisted by the hypnagogic metabolism of late spring,

I have a vision.

An enormous, disembodied vulva

with a sentience that permitted a simple, ancient drive.

The tremendousness of its presence roused a growing pressure within my chest,

a rosened flesh ample and mnemonic.

Within its mass, a recumbent figure is partially engulfed, anterior

fermenting in a pulsing, pinkened darkness.

I don’t know why I told you this.

In the moment before, I was trying to convince myself of my circulatory efficiency

after the familiar anxiety began its

drowsy humming.

yes, my heart is pumping this

red warmth through.

And I had thought about how I read somewhere that blood is blue inside,

which made me feel adopted

and suspicious of the parent-god who makes crimson of cobalt.

I have only ever been a vassal of an enfeebling devotion,

but I will say I have had no companion whose fingers graze the skin of my wrist as

softly as my own.

Still, I wonder what of love I have ever truly understood.

yes, my heart is pumping this

red warmth through.


Kendall Southworth is a previously unpublished poet residing in Sarasota, Florida. She is an environmental restorationist by profession. When she's not trudging through the swamps of the gulf coast, she writes. You can find her (uninhibited, frequently bizarre) musings on Twitter.


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