Anaïs Duplan

Try Not to Smile (When You're Not
Getting Your Picture Taken)

I am the animal who wants to hold you
in good light. Today being your big debut.
Today, for spectacle's sake, you lay waste
unto hunger. Until hunger, we had faced
none of the usual dangers. The wild blue

yonder could very well be inside the two
of us, you mumbled. You drew pictures of Kali. I drew
blood when I fell off my bike. Trust
being a luxury for the animal. I am

too dirty but only when you are too
high on coke to answer the phone. Whose cue
is this. Whose turn to describe the taste
of vogue. In matters of tangible time, I know no haste.
Conversely, in matters of sex, I know only that I grew
invisibly. As in, I am the animal's mouth in your mouth.


Anaïs Duplan's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Phantom Limb, Birdfeast, [PANK], The Journal, Horse Less Review, Berfrois, and others. She is the author of Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016). Currently, she is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in addition to running an artist collective called The Spacesuits.