The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

by Danielle Pafunda

We’ll tell you
what a corpse is.

It’s a girl

with her shoes
on backward.

It’s a double-
jointed girl.

It’s a glass eye
in a glass jar
in the snapped jaw
of an alligator

It’s a doll

whose eyes move

of their own accord

when you turn
just so.

It’s a busted
through which
the worm
can thread
her lonely

Her lover
done gone.


If you’re looking for something pretty
nestled in the fold
of this leprous bosom,
come closer. Snap, snap.

We loved craftily.
We infected ourselves,
and tranq’d ourselves,
and drank ourselves
silly and sang:

What a dumb-dumb-
a useless piece
of ugly meat.

Then, in the dark,
beneath the musty
woolens, bunched,
snuggled and fed

a slinky heaven.

And now?

And now?

Nothing soft
slinks our way

that isn’t wet
with what you’d call


From The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

Originally published at

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison, forthcoming in a second edition from Bloof (2015)