Nasty Beauty

by Marlena Chertock 

 

after “Like Judith Slaying Holofernes” by Paul Tran      

 

You nasty beauty,

you toenail-picker,

booger-flicker,

armpit scratching

beauty. Farting loudly

alone in your bed,

you don’t even realize

the sound your burps make,

anymore. Your sweat

shines like a thousand

potato bugs glistening

when you turn over a rock.

Marlena Chertock (she/her) has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized: Poems (Unnamed Press) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press). She uses her skeletal dysplasia as a bridge to scientific poetry. A queer, disabled poet, Marlena serves as Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival, and on the Board of Split This Rock, a nonprofit that cultivates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. A 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry and prose has appeared in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Paper Darts, Rogue Agent, Wordgathering, and more. Find her at www.marlenachertock.com and on Instagram  @mchertock.