Desiring, with Embedded Tankas



Desiring, with Embedded Tankas  


I had a boyfriend once, who believed in Decomposition. We swerved his truck to each hummock

of roadkill, careening back roads, finishing the work of some come-before traveler, flattening

carcasses into unrecognizability. Less for the highway crew, he’d say. They’re already dead,

he’d say. Returning them to nature. Some things just are, “belief” is not the right word, verbed or

not. Common egrets, / known as the Great White Heron / gather at the maw / of the stream that

feeds the lake, / too many too count. I thought /

them solitary birds. I had a boyfriend once, who wouldn’t sleep with me. He didn’t believe in

latex, artificial hormones, the calendar or his own control. I can’t, he said, risk bringing a life

into this world I’m not prepared to care for. I’d plead for skin, sheathed in multiple

prophylactics, only succeed

occasionally. / At certain times, lakeflies clot / the air, thrumming, their / mouthless bodies. My

body / hungers, vibrates engines with /

no discernible center. I have a friend who careens between dark places; imagines his beloved

with secret lives & loves or the girl of his dreams, placid and perfect and untouched. He snares

along the creek bed in season, returns to red flags

awave. To harvest / a turtle, you’ll need a tub / to trap the blood. So / much blood, an oil-slick,

pooling. / But the meat is tender, caught /

between clades. On the river road to work, two cars ahead the driver clips a squirrel, and the

wind catches its body, wiffling the stunned creature aloft, little kite. As I approach it makes for

the side of the road, dragging

the weight of itself / with front paws extended, taut. / I should square the tires / and end the

animal pain / but the body wants its wants.


C. Kubasta writes poetry, prose and hybrid forms. She is the author of the poetry books All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX) and Of Covenants (Whitepoint), the novella Girling (Brain Mill) and a novel This Business of the Flesh (Apprentice House). She thinks poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should be a body genre. Find her at and follow her @CKubastathePoet


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