Carcass by Allison Joseph

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


A body doesn’t accuse you of things.
Silent. A body has a thug mouth,
huge gun. Or no gun. Or fists.
Or a wheelchair. Cane. Crutches.
A body doesn’t fly. Limp. No muscle,
tongue. Hoodie, no handshake.
A body is drained. A body is prodded.
Mute strains of nothing. Broken.
Head twisted, shot, corroded, snapped.
A body doesn’t rise. A body stays limp.
A body doesn’t shake off pavement.
A body doesn’t collide with stars.
A body’s hours aren’t hours,
they are centuries, redlined centuries.
A body can choke you. Break you.
Wreck you beyond reckoning.


Allison Joseph lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is on the faculty at Southern Illinois University. Her most recent publications are the chapbooks Trace Particles (Backbone Press) and Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press).