Going Down on the English Language

Jessica Fox

your words can be rough

they can drink scotch until they slur

and smoke cigars until their bottom lips

balloon and throb with terminally dividing cells.

they can make the marlboro man cry.


then, give them to me.

see, i can swallow and chew

all the sandpaper edges off,

my saliva attacking and carrying away

any anomalies and corners.


the structures of your words

and infinitely indefensible

and if i mouth them long enough

they can collapse and melt

and my stomach acids can begin to rebuild.



your creations and my gestations, revisions,

lies our truth.

parts of it are so smooth

my skin become jealous

and some of it's so harsh and sharp

we'll bleed.