Kristi Carter: #MeToo Series

Kristi Carter: #MeToo Series
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Etymology of Trespass


His name means man,

the first man

to join Christ. A lifetime


later, the man

I have now,

calls my name


in a street

in Venice. My sacred

name raises


eyebrows, as

my neck turns

to find him. But


let us return to Man #1.

How he joined me,

my body wooden


beneath him, while I

kept my eyes

locked to the waterstain


on the ceiling.

Manly man, whose body

was unhinged as a demon,


thank god he arrived

after the first,

that my death


could be less painful

with no hymen to split.

I left in the morning


with no stigmata

on my hands or wrists,

no sleep


in my body. I had

to turn back

for my shoes.


For my realization

my bare feet

would not grant me


to become

the ground

I ran on.


Offer of the Self in the Shape of a Myth after the Rapes


Stick your finger in this gash: some part of me

Ariean, ruled by Mars then, and with that,

through torpor, came a fruit swollen and low on the branch

of the tree I thought was dead. Thought

that all perished in the flood of my unraveling,

the threads sliver off from the tether I have

to myself. Then this, a stonefruit, so ripe

the cleft throbs beneath the thin peel,

the meek coat on a red flash of nature. This peak

of the fruit's short life: that's anger. That's

bloodline like a lure hooked back into myself.

That's mirror: I see what enters me and turns me

to fire. The wire between me and what I know to be true

slips back through. I know you, me,

from the dream where we emerge from the water

as it fills the house of those who refuse to look

at the cold creeping up their legs. How the loins

at first ignore external threats, their only defense.

And ever since I anchored myself to the ground

and split off from myself, from the cracked husk

of girlhood finished, I return replenished.

I return, to burn. I return, with the wound

like a medal—in its gleam, how it sings.

Let in salt, let in the world, into the woman

let the god of fire whorled, god of war,

god only beauty could join, as she stepped

from foam onto the gravel shore.

Kristi Carter's poems have appeared in publications including So to Speak, poemmemoirstory, CALYX, Hawaii Review, and Nimrod. Her book Cosmovore is available from Aqueduct Press. She is also the author of chapbooks forthcoming from Porkbelly Press and Dancing Girl Press. Her work examines of the intersection of gender and intergenerational trauma in 20th Century poetics. She holds a PhD from University of Nebraska Lincoln and an MFA from Oklahoma State University.