Raw by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

I have sinned
incompletely—let me try again.
I’ll get it right this time.
I was not ignorant enough before
or vicious enough or naked enough.
Halfway to hell is nowhere.
Have you been there? Utopian
fallacies fester in the moral muck
of a society’s systematic best.
Like all estranged angels, I tested
my mechanical wings
but was tempted to sing

I have fallen
anyway—a freak of nurture
when nature has no say.
My cells swell with rage
while some gentlewoman stares
back from the mirror,
but she won’t stay;
I’ll keep her blood and breath,
and tend her flesh as she hides
my unsalvaged soul, one more
floundering, dust-bound
device of the pseudo-divine
spirit of our time.


About the Author:

Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb is co-founder of Native West Press–a 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural history press (which, most recently, published the interdisciplinary anthologies What’s Nature Got to Do with Me? Staying Wildly Sane in a Mad World and Blessed Pests of the Beloved West: An Affectionate Collection on Insects and their Kin). Her own poetry has appeared in Dark Matter: A Journal of Speculative Writing, Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, Shangri-La Shack Literary Arts Journal, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Spectrum, Pedestal Magazine, Wilderness House Literary Review, Entelechy: Mind & Culture, and many other journals. She has a special interest in the phenomenon of biophilia and is particularly fond of spiders.