Excerpt from Proximate Seams
in discussing rotation: include the spiraling of untamed nerves, unbundled at the rib’s
as in: the moment when stem unravels into roots.
as in: a meaty palm split off into bony fingers.
the small and separate pieces glinting with animal fidgets.
in discussing translation: my nerves are not roots. cannot be stitched into the humming
rhizome. I am an animal and my nerves untangle into a horse’s tail.
choose the mammalian word, as translating the language will not alter the action of these
alignment is emotional and physical history written across our bones.
in being a book, I am also a body
just as book’s ripest red leaks when torn
a bleeding fruit held between the confines of a binding
here is my spine: the segmented parts bound by cloth
here is my preface: growing from the side of neck
a flowering goiter which extends outwards with annotation
all puss and petal as predecessor
as with foot binding, the possibility of cloth reshapes bone
and when the softness refuses the rip?
do we sew signatures to the palms of our hands so stories of our misshaping can be
so our chapters may flap at each other as we wave?
with careful hands, you craft yourself into language and place your wordy density beside my
here is a biography: growing over skeleton stitches
a trellis of lichen falls tail-like
grows me into ground
it sprouts now
in a lunged moment
pulses toward moist dusk dirts
I am moss sewn
small vines fastening spray of lichen
into root system
despite having both lung sacs and fish gills, it is the skin which breathes it in
(scents of the wetness this skin craves)
tail-like, it declares its autonomy
tail of lichen which wriggles itself off me
which curls and reaches green mossy fingers
sews itself against a quilting of tree bark
just as my skin separates and slides off from itself
and I eat the nourishment of the resulting slough
a self-grown mermaid tail
stitched onto the cold dirt I crawl across
I wait for its autonomous detachment
I wait for the act of skin sliding down onto forest floor
the act of eating a shedding
Jade Lascelles is a shapeshifting monster. On any given day, she may be a poet, letterpress printer, editor, and/or dance party enthusiast. She wishes she could be the type of monster who grows flowers out of her skin.After a lengthy migration period, she now makes her home in Boulder, Colorado, where she teaches writing and literature and works in the publishing industry. Additionally, she is a founding member of Inukshuk Collective Boulder and serves as the assistant to the Harry Smith Print Shop at Naropa University.