in the beginning (abecedarian on desire) | Talia Gordon

as if a single apple could destroy an ecosystem, we
buck the shame of bringing foreign objects into bed,
cum with no intention of conceiving. i’m lit-er-al-ly
de-generate, you tell me, grinning, like,
et-ym-o-logically. the very first time we 
fuck, i fall in rage for ever letting
god haunt the good
hunger, finally kill the ghost 
inside myself. now we live an old
joke: insert here, couple of punchlines. twisting the
knife, my therapist asks me if i feel un-
loveable; a soft indictment — even you prefer a 
man’s voice, don’t you,
nice & reliable; even i get horny when i’m
ovulating. why take romance out of
politics when we can have our cake &
queer it too? there’s a slow-burning war at the end of the
rainbowwhen’s a noose ever accidental?
sometimes it helps to remember we’re only animals,
that when i’m sad, i’m also cellular (as if
unlearning what the body wants could make the wanting
vanish). silly rabbit, silly rib — do you still
wonder why we left the garden, spat
ex-cel-sis deo out our mouths like bad milk? for
years i wandered with a sour taste; now i’m
zealous for everything on my tongue.


Talia Gordon is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Chicago, working on a dissertation project about crisis and collective life in the post-welfare United States. They are also managing editor at Somatosphere, and have had work most recently published by Pretty Owl Poetry. Talia lives in Detroit, Michigan with Juice, a cat.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.