Julie Benesh ~ As Told To

Occupation: self-care and waste man­age­ment. No
des­tiny to ful­fill. Produce noth­ing but feces and fur.
Work from home naked. Have a live-in with thumbs
who hunts, grooms, sleeps with me, though she keeps
strange hours and has too many inter­ests, in my view,
though being vol­un­teer, her price is right.

Found her at that hos­tel where I bit everyone
else. Would have bit her, too, but her hair-smell
made drowsy my limbs, like my mama’s
bel­ly fill­ing mine, so instead I licked her ear:
savory, sweet­bit­ter, sour, and salt.

For kicks, I look through glass, at birds
and bugs, not at or in it, nor see my image
in her eyes, reflec­tion not being my jam
but sure as I guard her bed:
face-for­ward, door-toward, build­ing bones
and heal­ing wounds with sooth­ing roar,
we know we make each other’s home,
me and the one with thumbs,
writ­ing this down.


Julie Benesh has pub­lished work in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Another Chicago Magazine (forth­com­ing), Hobart, JMWW, Maudlin House, New World Writing, Cleaver, Sky Island Journal, and else­where. She is grad­u­ate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program and recip­i­ent of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. She lives in Chicago and teach­es orga­ni­za­tion­al lead­er­ship. Read more at juliebenesh.com.