Two Poems | by Rita Mookerjee

Unholy

This is a myth about red root vixens
maenads and wolves in a
contest to see whose
teeth are longest
trampling damp earth
the rhythmic thudding
of orgasm the violence of
a beak shredding fruit

this might seem like strange
company to keep but
if not wolves then who?
they are honest in their savagery
in their shaggy coats
which remind me that
the body is just something
full to slip away from
that my jaw locked
with the forgetting of prayer
can open with a scrape of stone
and spill its bait.

 

 

Daith

the daith piercing is named after
the Hebrew word for knowledge which is what
its creator needed to puncture the ridge of
tissue disappearing into the canal
tucking a gleaming ring inside
most people make it rhyme with faith
but really it’s pronounced like moth
and you’ll never know what pressure is
until you’ve felt this
the hollow needle threads impossibly
into a part of you a softened bone
that mostly goes untouched
and it has an ancient story and a
ritual role and recently doctors have
urged those with migraines to go
out and get this piercing that it will cure their pain
that this tissue is an important point on the head
they say this with confidence
that this sham acupuncture can mend people
they bring up Eastern healing so it’s a win-win
if it works it’s a new medical innovation
if it fails it’s a relic of a primitive culture folk magic
and it’s only a matter of time before
doctors start charging by the thousand
sorry insurance won’t cover this new procedure
they’ll dig into the canal not with knowledge
but with a piercing gun which
was only ever meant to tag cattle
and when the placebo takes hold
patients will thank doctors.

 


 

Rita Mookerjee’s poetry is featured or forthcoming in Hollow, Lavender Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Spider Mirror Journal, and others. Her critical work has been featured in the Routledge Companion of Literature and Food, the Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, and the Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory. She currently teaches ethnic minority fiction and women’s literature at Florida State University where she is a PhD candidate specializing in contemporary Caribbean literature with a focus on queer theory.