Natural History

Sometimes my body is too
much body. A hair
needling from a swollen

husk of skin, pink elbowing
past my gurgling mouth.
The lonely moat

of my stomach & its soft
scars. If my body cannot
name all its ghosts is it

still my body. If it becomes
a field stunned forever in frost.
If it spills. If it spills me.

/ /

Each winter undoes itself bellowing
in a soundless mouth.

I remake you as a mammoth. Extinct,
blundering. It is easier to forgive beasts.

The embrace of a tusk in a slight
exhale of the museumís light. The jaw,

divorced from its bite. Every shadow of bone
bigger than bone.  Sometimes the body is not enough body.

Anything you tread on was ground. My body throat-pale,  

prone. Science is easiest when it says
that I should not remember.

I learn.

/ /

I learn a nest of mice crushed
in the street. They are nothing but body.

(History has known mice a hundred times
longer than mammoths, or humans.
History has nothing to do
with the freshly dead.)

Their little stomachs spill pink
sinew, no bone.


Shakthi Shrima's work had appeared in DIALOGIST, Muzzle, and BOAAT, amongst others. Shakthi Shrima has appeared in her unmade bed. She reads for the Adroit Journal and currently lives in Munich.