Deep Spring

It wasn’t that
streaming like an ablution
I couldn’t say no to
the smell of boy.
Sweat and
around us
the falling moon
but in the shadow
I never used to be
ready to,
mouth, claw
I wanted to but
It was
I wanted to but somehow
through the half-closed window
the dirt under your fingernails,
The husk of your body
the blood on your teeth shone.
All of it shook me:
reflected blankly
a blackened wing
so coy.
I was fecund,
humming spring
like poppies
upward from
a fist
your heft that made me
quail and shake.
like sickness
in the bath of blue light
like a damp spectral sheet
your wild-eye gleam
rapped my eyelids.
Saliva clasped to the air
The light washed,
across my body
whittled dark in the dissolve.
So full of loam and wet,
green like the chattering
I vibrated with yes, yes, yes
sprouted from the
inside. It’s not that
I could not bear it. You
beat my thighs—
Your thickness inside
was never welcome.


Elisa Karbin is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, Snare, and her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review and Blackbird, amongst others. She is a PhD candidate in poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she also teaches. Visit her online at