by Sarah Nichols

I am the girl who had my mouth sewn shut. I whir
in swarms, all teeth and
unquiet, my whole


all shrieking, all
radioactive, a ray of


I am the woman collating bones. A nervous
system brought back to
life, a little

disaster burned up; a
trigger of childhood, a geography of

My own voice.

This is a cento. Sources: John Berryman: “Dreamsong 22: Of 1826,” “Dreamsong 16,” “Dreamsong 17,” “Dreamsong 57,” “Dreamsong 52: Silent Song,” “Dreamsong 51,” “Dreamsong 50,” “Dreamsong 30,” and “Dreamsong 67.” Frank O’Hara: “On Seeing Larry Rivers’ Washington Crossing the Delaware at the MoMa,” “To a Poet,” “The Hunter,” and “Homosexuality.”