small textlarge text

SM Stubbs

Asylum Sleight of Hand

In order to escape you must know the sounds
for trap and fettered flesh. You must allow yourself

to be audacious, name for a type of dare. This
is a lesson in embracing the other. To start with,

stop apologizing for the spoiled hull of your body.
Learn to get away with what doesn’t belong to you:

starlight, the smell of jasmine flowers, the weight
of hollow bones called a wing. Death is either

reprieve or release. When our judgment ends
we are free to never eat, never sleep, never learn

the geometry of any lover’s extended sentence,
their pliable curves and neon stitches. Do you

have the nerve? A lab on the south of town has
proven that risk-taking is good for our health,

that it energizes us like a fresh set of electrodes.
Whatever holds you will eventually loosen its grip.

Asylum Kitchen

I bring more than blades or wire or shards
of sharp glass to stir into the soup. I am at

once sustenance, flesh, fiber, my fierce self.
My breath percolates until you grab me

by the shoulders and silence me with your
lips. I overflow with corn and apples, make

you forget yourself like a bottle of single malt
scotch. I will not leave you empty. I will not

let you hunger for what isn’t in you to want. Tell
me what to do with this sack of ass’s jawbones:

do you intend to keep the beat or slay a hundred
men? Both require rhythm. You’ll want to claim

me as a prize ham, a holiday cake, as sweets
hung from a tree. I can’t swim without your

thirty minutes. Find my seam and run your
spoon along it. I burst at the slightest touch.

➥ Bio