If You Love The Fur, Then You'll Love The Beast by Michelle Lin

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

the condition of my hair, the only condition
and not these million rabbits roiling

inside of me and their ungroomed teeth.
If the lone cuticle circles onto itself

like the smallest pearl-planet, then this will be
my legacy of love and neglect. The littlest

man bathing within each bead
will not be my grandfather, and I will wear

nothing around the neck: jewel-free and
bare like a starving opera singer. Your praise

grazes only the thigh of it: panorama pet
of my roast and love, black black ditch

of my heart. The rise and pitch of your footfall
breathtaking up my porch. All my tresses

trespassed no one’s: my family
and their hundred dollar sack slung ‘cross

someone else’s back. Let’s get a witness,
trial and arrow of my heart. I’ll say I’ll never

forget to fill the VIP’s tea on my left and
what’s left is not a village but a chain

of motels clamped beneath my tongue
like a rich man’s cigar, and today is no day

but my birthday. I stroll along the A-Line
in my most luxurious coat. Because I have

no olive trees, I give you rabbits. Because
I have no olive trees, I give you rabbits.

Photo of Michelle Lin

Photo of Michelle Lin

Michelle Lin is the author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Adrienne, Quaint Magazine, The Journal, Aster(ix), Phoebe, North American Review, TYPO, Apogee and more. She has served as an editor for the journals Mosaic, Hot Metal Bridge and B. E. Quarterly, and currently serves as Poetry Reader for Twelfth House Journal. She has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, LEAPS summer program, and Young Writer's Institute. She works for API Legal Outreach in the San Francisco Bay Area.