KIMBERLY CAMPANELLO / CONSENT
[Campanello] is attempting something new, something challenging and inspiring and radical, something that hasn’t been seen before in contemporary Irish poetry. In my opinion, not only does she succeed in this attempt, her work wildly exceeds expectation. This collection is essential reading.
— Doireann Ní Ghríofa, The Stinging Fly
2013 / 72 pages / €12
Cover photo: Tony Carragher
(click to view cover)
By Kimberly Campanello
He told me how in his childhood
vultures used to mean a rush out to the hay fields
to see what had died. The worst was when his father
mowed over the fawn. A fawn is taught, or maybe just knows,
to hold still in danger. This is usually for the best.
If I hold still, is it for the best? If I hold still, how will you come?
The fawn held still. The mower tore it to pieces.
The vultures came and with them, the children. The father wept.
The hay was baled to feed the cows for slaughter.
I rushed on my bike to the tower through spinning cities of gnats.
We met, and they died all over me, my face and arms speckled with black.
Not one was still. No one is still. Ever. Not me. Not you. Even
the fawn breathed. I am building this spinning city
in a hay field. You are rushing to its tower.
We will meet there, breathing, still.
When you don’t bread a chicken body
you see its skin quite clearly.
Feather hairs once emerged from raised holes.
And some people plan
rape fantasies just to feel
their arms and legs
spread at the sockets
like the chicken’s legs and wings
before they’re cut from the body.
And maybe that makes some sense.
This is not a vegetarian poem
but you should know
that there’s no real fixity—
the uterus and fallopian tubes
just float inside us.
I never really saw chicken skin
until at 18 I saw the inside
of my labia majora.
I had worried it was wrong.
I was wrong. The nurse said
No, that’s your chicken skin.
We all have it. Just ask any of us.