Here, a clothesline,
 a slender horizontal
 pedestrian with a duty
 to dry,
 its crooked 
 teeth in the wind.

 Severe allergic reaction,
 my skin
 to, worshipped
 as it swelled with 
 its own saints: the body
 penned a book while I itched 
 it. The book was titled, The Unbearable.

 perforated with 
 theft, as flesh
 at wounding –
 this cleaved
 terrain, this tender
 of not yours.

Anna Veprinska is a poet and scholar. She has published the books Sew with Butterflies: poems (Steel Bananas, 2014) and Empathy in Contemporary Poetry after Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Her poetry chapbook, Spirit-clenched, from which these poems are drawn, was published with Gap Riot Press in December 2020. She has had poems published or forthcoming in HA&L, The /tƐmz/ Review, Not Very Quiet, 8 PoemsEcholocation, and Labour of Love, among others. She holds an award-winning Ph.D. in English from York University and is a current SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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