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chelsea hodson


Hotel Congress


Breakfast was delivered to the palms
of my hands, hard boiled, sat there looking
at me like cameras. I ate them with my big
mouth, thought you might be happy
to see my voracity, would you siphon
my best years and leave me naked in the lobby
please someone will ask Are you lost girl
I will not be. I will ask if it’s possible to cook
the lobby and eat that, request concierge
girls delivered to my chest, my stomach writhes
in disappointment: I know that unfed feeling
on the floor of my room, arranging candy bar
wrappers in a neat circle when you arrived
smelling like other places, kicking in county
lines painted by my useless hands.
Is your mind great? I asked you. Like, if you died
would a statue be made?
You covered my mouth
and used your belt in a new way, So, yes
I thought, then stopped thinking. I was alive and still
hungry and emanating scents undetected
by science, so human all I could do
was theorize. What if I sent flowers
to your room? What if I made you the woman?
Great art might be my answer:
statues of men made in the likeness
of their greatness, none of which seeps
from pores when they die. Death is a rose
it stops being lovely immediately. Turn me
into your fiction, won’t you romanticize
me until I’m just a lovely dark shape, you said
I could come over if I meant it, if I was good.
I’m here to prove that.


A Beautiful Test


My disinterest thrilled cave draggers everywhere
hair dwellers galore. Perspective is everything, we were the movie
set water shining streets for film. I wore skirts knowing
what skirts stood for—I was not dumb but encouraged that
treatment, automatic like a weapon or my upright car
tilting on sharp turns home. Aww is all anyone says to me
anymore: aww look at your little outfit aww your life
story, your outcomes, you and I were in love
or we tried hard to be, and that may be the same thing.
You took a hundred photos of a woman in New Orleans,
I woke up straddling someone that rehabilitated pit
bulls—he put food in dog mouths and then took it
away, he pulled tails and slapped ribs, he looked like you
except his heart had been replaced by a machine and
the thing was the machine did fine.


Chelsea Hodson is the author of two chapbooks: Pity the Animal (Future Tense Books, 2014) and Beach Camp (Swill Children, 2010). A collaborator with Marina Abramovic Institute's Immaterial and a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, her essays have been published in Black Warrior Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Lifted Brow, Sex Magazine, Sundog Lit, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.