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.