KIMBERLY CAMPANELLO / CONSENT
Campanello has given us a post-feminist classic, undeceived and sharp as knives in a drawer.
— Todd Swift
Cover photo: Tony Carragher
KIMBERLY CAMPANELLO was born in Elkhart, Indiana, and now divides her time between Dublin and London. Her pamphlet Spinning Cities was published by Wurm Press in 2011. She was featured poet in the Summer 2010 issue of The Stinging Fly, and her poems have appeared in Abridged, The Cream City Review, filling station, Irish Left Review, nthposition, Tears in the Fence, and The Penny Dreadful. In 2011, she was selected to read as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Kimberly has taught Creative Writing at Florida Gulf Coast University, Big Smoke Writing Factory (Dublin).
He told me how in his childhood
vultures used to mean a rush out to the hay fields
to see what had died. The worst was when his father
mowed over the fawn. A fawn is taught, or maybe just knows,
to hold still in danger. This is usually for the best.
If I hold still, is it for the best? If I hold still, how will you come?
The fawn held still. The mower tore it to pieces.
The vultures came and with them, the children. The father wept.
The hay was baled to feed the cows for slaughter.
I rushed on my bike to the tower through spinning cities of gnats.
We met, and they died all over me, my face and arms speckled with black.
Not one was still. No one is still. Ever. Not me. Not you. Even
the fawn breathed. I am building this spinning city
in a hay field. You are rushing to its tower.
We will meet there, breathing, still.
When you don’t bread a chicken body
you see its skin quite clearly.
Feather hairs once emerged from raised holes.
And some people plan
rape fantasies just to feel
their arms and legs
spread at the sockets
like the chicken’s legs and wings
before they’re cut from the body.
And maybe that makes some sense.
This is not a vegetarian poem
but you should know
that there’s no real fixity—
the uterus and fallopian tubes
just float inside us.
I never really saw chicken skin
until at 18 I saw the inside
of my labia majora.
I had worried it was wrong.
I was wrong. The nurse said
No, that’s your chicken skin.
We all have it. Just ask any of us.