Ankh Spice

The pact

We’ve joked about it since the day we met;
the long hock of you like an uncured ham,
my runner’s shanks—osso bucco. Tender oysters of ilium,
where a husband dimples at the spine; the well-marbled bacon
of your oestrogen skirt. Whoever goes first, we say
reserves the right of recipe. Before we met, the world was hollow
and I turned in its belly, reducing. You were a hard streak
of boiling for the blood to turn and paint you soft
as other girls, lugging their plucks from birth.
What isn’t about the body and its demands—jut
enough shoulder, enough hip, to carry a whole fucking life,
dimensions unknown, unripe as we all begin. It gets bitter
for those who wax to unfruit. They sugared me wide-bore,
straight into the jugular. You grained off the ledge
into a different silo, briefly suffocated, grew nails to cling.
Everything clenched to take its bite. We repeat
the joke. Lay the table together, consent to feed
only the mouth that first names every cut.

Ankh Spice is a queer, sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa New Zealand, author of The Water Engine (Femme Salvé Books, 2021). His poetry is eight times nominated for Pushcart Prize/Best of the Net, and was joint winner of The Poetry Archive’s PAN 2020 competition, and the Visual Verse 2022 Autumn Writing Prize. He’s a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine, and co-edits at IceFloe Press. Website:

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