Navigating Back Into My Body

I’ve heard cannibals only eat people they covet,
swallowing raw flesh in an act of endearment.
What part of my body am I willing
to chew through to get back in?
And when I find what I am hunting for—
what counts as transcendence? I am indigenous
of nowhere now; unlearning myself, turning
the structure of my body inside out and hanging it
from a tree to remove a long-forgotten arrow
from the bottom rib. Sometimes, I feel
like a toddler again, offering all that I have
to Love—a small pink fruit the size of a butterfly
blade. Leaning into the warm flesh
of the underbelly, I take a bite from fire,
saying here, here is the everchanging beginning.
I want to forget everything I know, flip back
the hide at the mouth and slither in, my newborn
voice bouncing in a wilderness of bone.

About the Author

Hollie Dugas lives and teaches in New Mexico. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Fugue, Phoebe, Pembroke, Potomac Review, Under the Gum Tree, and CALYX. Hollie’s poem ‘As You Are Drying the Red Chili Peppers’ was a finalist for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review. Most recently, Hollie’s poem “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). In addition, her poem “The Secret Lives of Figs” received Honorable Mention in the 2017 Rash Award Contest sponsored by the Broad River Review. She is currently a member on the editorial board for Off the Coast.