Feature image by Lui Shtini, Seli, 2013. Oil on board. 20.5 x 16.5 in. © Lui Shtini. Courtesy of the artist and Kate Werble Gallery, New York City. Photo credit: Elisabeth Bernstein.

bring on the flood of animals God I see you everywhere there is blood you said speak only when you’re spoken to & I said come inside I am pregnant as the silence I am about to break the Cathars believed the body of Christ could not be swallowed because the body is the Devil’s work never mind the cult of Mary mother of here & now the baby moving inside me on the floor pink sequins spider the light into precious stone in this room there is no room for smoke too much how much to lay one body against the body with no space between the first milk is not milk the only way to go on is without breath pause don’t stop stop & the Devil will push the Devil will be in me reborn

Beth Bachmann

Beth Bachmann is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of three books: TemperDo Not Rise, and CEASE. She serves as writer in residence in the MFA program at Vanderbilt University, and lives in Nashville and New York City.