Unbandaged

1.


I wake, eyes dimmed in thirst,

mouth breasted with moonbeams,


legs bent to umbilicus. My palms,

reaching, worship the stars


as salt-fisted hosts malting meteors

into daughters, and I point


to the cosmos as home, deathless,

drinking darkness. Only in evening


are Adonai and Earth

the same mother who birthed me


autistic and ribboned in constellations,

an oblation wrapped in russet felt, cooing.


2.


Because the only thing I can’t unscramble

is infinity, I swallow all but faces,

and as I daydream, outer space uncorks,


folds finite. I won’t describe it as wasteland, but I’ll say

it’s spilling into a womb of uncrossable windstorms

and gurglings of noses and teeth and ears


and hatching souls who swell with half-smiles

and half-truths, reliving the path to Jupiter even when

they haven't been there yet. My reinvention:


as a lover does, I wonder if I’m the only one

who was ever alive, if intimacy is spangled

in beginnings and endings kneaded into embrace.


3.


If the gods fell in love,

they too would be unimportant.

So, forget the body and its illusion,


forget each globe drying into orbit,

forget the infinite cycles. To stim:

I lift the heavens to my lips


like a face, count stars burn and melt

into brides, never to be traced formless,

ventriloquized, because these aren’t stains


but birthmarks, this ether

a brass-bound heirloom I rewind

and rewrite and recast into myself.


4.


If I could peel the yolk and find a religion

to slice through my oneness, I would


not, but I’d raise the sun from

vanishing. When they swear my neurotype


is just another failure, I whisper

look! the sky, and again, we birth


ourselves unbandaged and moonfaced, bleeding

into the unmapped like worship, like water.



About the Author


Jenna Nesky (she/her) is an autistic, Jewish, bisexual teen writer and poet and a sophomore at Carver Center for Arts and Technology in the literary prime. She is forthcoming or published in Cathartic Literary and Eunoia. From Maryland, she turns sixteen this year.