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Oracle

June 29, 2010

by Jessica Otto

The fake ones eat
the bones and gristle of cats
to see the future. They drink
the blood of rattlesnakes
and wear sharks’ teeth in their
long, flowing hair.
The real ones hide in caves,
hang their dead
in cages, suck
the fallen vertebra
(when the backbone falls
like a clump of grapes)
and the cracked bodies of sun
dried tomatoes when gobs
of red blot their mouths,
where their teeth
have knocked upon the stone
floor. The woman’s eye
is an inkwell; pecked pious
and unfathomable.
She goes naked in her
sagging skin.


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Jessica Otto (blog) lives in Arkansas with her husband and many cats, enjoys panning for interesting words and adores poetry and all things micro. She is currently receiving rejection letters from MFA in Creative Writing programs but she keeps trying. Her previously published work can be found in 7×20 (also here), Nanoism, Six Sentences, 50 to 1, escarp, Everyday Weirdness (also here), a handful of stones and amphibi.us. She has pieces forthcoming in Writers’ Bloc and the twitter zine PicFic.

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  1. mary
    July 2, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Jessica, you don’t need an MFA. It might spoil this glorious writing. The images are wonderful. “…naked in her sagging skin” is a fabulous last line.

  2. July 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Jessica, I’m with Mary. This is a beautiful poem. The image of the collapsing backbone is exquisite.

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