Feature image by Jenny Saville Mirror, 2012. Pigment print on Somerset photo 300gsm paper, 34 x 55 cm, edition of 50.

At Hippocrene, I was freakshow proportions while everyone else
Was ravenous on air. It was some kind of bilious joke

When women grew slender as church spires. I refused.
Who then would give birth astride this grave? Too much

Like Mary, all glow and no gain. I was never one of them.
Not the fixed helical spinning during an improbable Lent.

I was the kingship heavy with rain,
Sturdy enough to withstand their pounding

When I am the hoist, a profane body of rudeness
Through a sea of broken and burned out bulbs.

You can be the beautiful opera I keep in a canister beside my bed.
Let me shake you awake, I’ll love you and feed you into queens.

Amber Galeo

Amber Galeo is a writer and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She completed an MFA in poetry at Columbia University, where she received the Ruth Bennett Prize in Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. She also holds an MA in human rights from Columbia University, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The New Orleans Review, Phantom Limb, and the book Raising Up the Roof: Activists Construct Women’s Human Rights Through CEDAW. She is currently an editor at sherights.com.