Madeline Vardell

I have sat with that term / homeland as the father

of the bride / drain my dowry and slaughter my

cattle / I place my foot upon a compounded back

to get / a better view of the scenery the dirt / you wash

away to asphalt and the cracks / giveaway to blades /

and the mutt’s glitzed up / trashing some uncareful

can / someone’s unfleshed / tampons are

domesticating / a dog’s attention to belong / one place

means to return each night / a homebody in a ring

shiny ‘n silver / and tagged / there are places to

register / this little red book / there is always one

more thing


I am thinking / a number is not for you / to guess I am over coy

bebes that / coil around the feet / that lech / unnoticed until

someone’s dangling from my meat-hook / I am not over meat

yet / count the numberless / the times I jackrabbit off / stage

performing fishy interpretive demonstrations of / my gender-

squeal / in heels I am touch-and-go / my every clomp sparks tiny

explosions / my eyebrows are gone / I am almost ready / I know

how to follow / directions doll-eyed cooing I want / new

eyebrows / a baby a bunny a blushing / gun to blow / crack

snapplepop ‘n flash / it at dumb admirers / you know what / it

is show&tell

I play interested / I slide down the widest pink / tongue

thrashing / carp overflow me / monthly I am mourning black-

velveteen / I’ll vomit for whomever / gaze at my rubyred scape

Madeline Vardell is an MFA candidate at New Mexico State University. She is the winner of the 2013 Kay Murphy Prize in Poetry, selected by Lara Glenum. Her work has recently appeared in Beecher's Magazine, Bayou Magazine, Rhino, [PANK], and Whiskey Island. She lives in Mesilla, New Mexico.