I become my mother and father. I don
their costumes, their postures. Posturing:
Where have they gone and how do I stop
them from eating me. The answer comes
unspoken but the gutter whimpers in the rain
on the side of the house in which I live
alone. I lock the door. I sleep with my
costumes on and my eyes open in case
the wind raps, wet and full of gutter-
sounds, in the middle of the night, looking
to bare my childbody.
She does not come
to my closed door
tonight, the girl. I cry
her pygmy name for hours
from under cloaks. In her
absence, I devour her.
Anaïs Duplan is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). Their poems and essays have appeared in Hyperallergic, on PBS News Hour, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, Fence, Boston Review, The Journal, and in other publications. Duplan is also an artist and curator who has facilitated exhibitions at the Distillery Gallery, Elastic Arts, Disjecta, the Radical Abacus, Public Space One, and at Mengi in Reykjavík, Iceland. Their visual works have appeared or are forthcoming in group exhibitions at Flux Factory, Thomas Robertello Gallery, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in LA. Anaïs is the founder of the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color in Iowa City and is the joint Public Programs Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem.