White Grass

a hunter-gatherer invents clothing

Mariel Alonzo

wolf whistled, catcalled


tribesmen test the throats of beasts they’ve tamed against

each other’s wives


sounds that blew off the hide

of a young girl who was polishing fangs of predators

that have lost every enzyme to digest their prey

diet of meats to flowers


she tried to pull out teeth caving in, seduced

their puckered nostrils with her cut wrist

carved out growing exoskeletons


and stretched their slowing limbs

but they’ve buried their fight and flights and chose to eat

out of her hand   


as if to make themselves forget

their surrender, they invented hardness – scales,

tusks, antlers, pearls.


what does it mean to be naked? 


plagiarizing their shame, she wore trilobites over

her nipples, swiftlet spit her first b-cups, pierced her ear

like the split muscle of a mussel’s left wing, coelacanth spine

and vocal cords of dinosaurs woven to make her first

loincloth


one day, even flowers would dream

of contraception – rafflesia perfumed in rot

venus flytrap’s acidic corset, lily of the valley’s

toxic skirt and white crop tops


she would stand on trial, blood of a boy

outweighing her hymen 

on the scale, and when the attorney asks


what were you wearing?


bare, she could only answer with a myth –


that all the creatures in the sea are on fire

and must stay there



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