Natasha King

a gate will not remain closed


a gate cannot,

will not

remain closed. what cannot be denied will

crack the shell and

sip the yolk.


you are more than calcified cage bars.

your body is not

what left the womb.


you envenomate your body. drink it like

milk and honey. the rib clot soul. that first bite.


you are the snake with hinged fangs,

granting knowledge in the garden.

you dislocate your jaw and your teeth

open, a door to your body.


you aren’t adam at all. you aren’t

the ground, you aren’t the dust,

you aren’t the blooded clay

gripped tight on the potter’s wheel.

you are the snake crushing the egg,

you are the yolk

blooming like a sunflower,



you used to pretend your hands were

seabirds and your body the

whitecaps, skimmed and ever-changing. you used

to lick salt from bone.

the seas your skin would sweat.


now the yolk

runs down your chin. sap and fruit juice.

you are laughing at the garden gate.

you are eve under the cobra’s hood.

you are the apple.

you drank the whole tree, and now there is nothing

about yourself

you do not know.



Natasha King is a Vietnamese American writer and nature enthusiast. Her poetry has appeared in Constellate Magazine, Oyster River Pages, Okay Donkey, and others. She lives in North Carolina, where she spends her spare time writing, prowling, and thinking about the ocean. She can be found on Twitter as @pelagic_natasha.