Erik Fuhrer

stiletto heel sermon

we arrive late at the chapel
our eyes the color of our heels
after walking the world over
searching for the glass slipper
that would slide over our own toes
like communion

the preacher feeds us
tarantulas on sourdough
and we remember how it feels
to be blessed    

so we sequin our tongues
to one another and feel
the holy ghost rush
between the warm breath of
our intimacy before clasping
hands into the chapel’s glass eye

the world is sliding its back
toward bethlehem and we
are the rough beast 
and the falcon is the reason
we are all still blinking

so the preacher says
let’s tapdance
to the lord with our teeth
and everyone flaps their eyes
like windows 
and we all stick our
stiletto heels
into each other’s mouths
like guns

snail shell safety

my eyelids are the newspapers
I read when the light hurts too much
to leave the snail shell curling me
into the safety of a lover

I have tattooed miracles onto my body
in hope that if you ever find me
you can jesus me back into the world
like a pig falling over a mountain

shh just a second ago the bread was falling
and you were wearing glass sandals     
with heels like the devil’s backbone
and I was a python
waiting for a slice of apple
from your holy lips

my body is the scent of your rejection
that you towel off
with my willowtree hair
and you are the opal candle that waxed
its way into the shape of my bedazzled mind
and I am the disco ball your platform shoes
always dreamed of
and I am your own private piano
and you are fumbling through the next sonata
with enough cocaine in your nostrils
to keep us awake through this plague

former meat

our water lilly faces flood
our burlap hearts with enough bees
to brittle the yawp of a ship of vikings

our ship is a mouth of bruises 
that we tenderize with baptismal feet
straight from the river of our indiscretions

we are the chains of teeth spiking
the temples with our blood turned dirt
turned fish in the sunlight in a flop flop pulse

to lick up the egg of the dawn
is a pocket of pleasure ephemeral
in a world egg-boiled soft

we are salt scattered from a pillar
shut eye glancing back with a small peak
at our former meat quietly sailing off

I found you in a peach pit     my teeth

every time I swallow them
my mind softens     like a cheese
that I place on the windowsill
like a licking salt

my mind tastes the way
you used to look at me
when I first fisted my body
into a bird     perhaps
I was a trapeze artist
until I lost all my teeth
in that rainstorm

this is all bullshit 
you say     as I stir
a molar
into my tea
for extra texture

we never were
the laurel and hardy
of glassblowing

and I was born
a tongue
in a jar
breathing the salt
of my own bath

and now look
where I am
flagging my wing
against the humid sky
of your gassy eye

you who are locked
in your own sparrow
into every glass door
every shard
the sun

yellowbrick spine

I cut a hole in my back so my spine
could wring itself   
up & out my body

yes that glorious centipede
slips its weight down the yellowbrick
leaving me—flapping like a mouth

and you are a pulsing throat
trying to swallow your pill of bees

well tell me a story
about the hollowtongued witch
who bit blackberries raw in the twilight

yes the one who’d pour water
over my spine to keep it clean
as a pig when it lipsticked
the shoes you are wearing a ruby green

see a house ain’t heavy enough
for my new shining bones
that will never stop glittering
no matter how much you cry

so please saddle my spine
when you see it give it a grand
yee-ha and tell it that I am still
beautiful and still stand up tall
all on my own

Erik Fuhrer is the author of 4 books of poetry, including not human enough for the census (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). His 5th book, in which I take myself hostage, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press at the end of this year. He can be found at and on twitter @erikfuhrer