Poetry: These Are the Witness Marks by Moira J.

Moira J. has written a visceral love poem with “THESE ARE THE WITNESS MARKS”—full of bodytalk and imagery that burrows under your skin, makes your back itch. Notice the goosebumps, the old salt, the zodiac mouth, but also the lover and the nervous ticking we all have heard when waiting in our own “shy bedroom.” Moira has made for us a poem with surprising balance between powerful bodies, and tender desire.



on the body of my loveroutlines 
and discolorations 
where ghost-limbs 
and phantom-talks 
might’ve inhabited, 
but now have been exiled  
into our bathtub where she 
floats, undisturbed. Goosebumps
occupy her thighs like raised
fists through
worn-sweaterseven when 
I dry her skin,   
she still tastes of  
marzipan and old salt.
And of course, fear still resides 
in my ribcage like fettered rabbits
before the snare snaps closed,  
of how the immensity of her  
zodiac mouth entraps my
existence.              Her loud body
ticks like grandfathered gears, 
or a bomb,  
in our shy bedroom.  
The storm of her awaits 
the window                          to be
slammed open, swallowing
cumulus bodies and spitting them  
onto our sheets: new and old  
ponds that could not come 
from a mouth like mine.



Moira J.

Moira J., or Gaagé Dat'éhe (Quiet Crow), is an Indigenous writer who explores being agender, queer, and biracial. They examine these relationships through poetry, origin stories, and creative nonfiction work. Moira J. has been published in Girls Get Busy Zine, Naugatuck River Review, ENCLAVE, Bayou Magazine, and more. They have upcoming publications with Sea Foam Magazine, The Account, The 3288 Review, and 1001: A Literary Journal. You can keep updated on Moira J. by going to https://moiraj.wixsite.com/home, or find them on Twitter @moira__j.

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