Rachel Milligan

Throw me for that loop again. The birds
are in the trees, singing noli me tangere.
So, tangere. Tango with my breath, my
teeth. You and your wine-translucent
skin. I’ve got a disease called “some-
day” or “somewhere.” How best to
break open me: think about how small
I am. Wrap one hand completely around
my waist. Whisper something I cannot
hear, that I don’t want to hear. Whisper
gamine fingernails and burrow them in
the soft floor. Tell me the swimming
pool was shallow and clear until I lay
naked in it. You licked something clean
away. Say what it was, I won’t know. The
bed looks how it looks without you in it, like
a burrow. When I get the pieces together,
you’re going to want to hear about it.

Rachel Milligan’s poems and translations can be found in BOAAT, Similar:Peaks::, Pathlight Magazine, smoking glue gun, and elsewhere. She was a Pflughaupt Fellow in Creative Writing, as well as a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar in Chinese. She earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she lives in Philadelphia.