The Path to Ask

No punch in
the gut. No black then
blue. No guessing or
“pro” antlers.
I look sexy in
clothes. Better
with someone who
knows better.
Armed candy tanks,
this continent bleeding
from the middle
umbilical out.
Is the horse
hooves on camel backs,
is the store water
stuffed fat. Our floor
sweats the rank rank,
smells of hierarchy.
Not that you’re less
than top. The bottom looks
up. Boil the feet, insert
ivory until hard.
Swallow hard.

Amy King is the author of I’m the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for an Alibi, both from Blazevox Books, The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press), and forthcoming, Slaves to Do These Things and I Want to Make You Safe. She edits The Poetics List, moderates the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. She is currently editing an anthology, The Urban Poetic, forthcoming from Factory School. For information on the reading series Amy co-curates, go to The Stain of Poetry: A Reading Series site or visit her at