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Natasha Huey (she/her/hers) reads her poem, "Ode to Nipples."

Natasha Huey:

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My name is Natasha Huey, and I'm a poet.

And today I'll be reading my poem, "Ode to Nipples." One of my favorite things about poetry is the ability to shift perspective, to transform the familiar and change our understanding of or relationship to something. Metaphors in poems continue to change what I see, how I see, and how I understand myself.

And this poem is an experiment in that: noticing something that I held so much tenderness and wonder for but didn't know exactly why, and looking at it over and over again in new ways, to fully recognize its magic. And this poem brings me joy! you curious star nosed mole small umbrella opened against a hungry sky sweet lighthouse through a tshirt’s fog your blind bird beak pressed to my fingertip you yolk of the body corked ocean carousel of skittish horses sequined cataract music the way the whole mouth is how the teeth and tongue contradict barb bite and satin swallow you, the castle and the moat spinning dancer with splayed out dress how you love to twist shape shift  smooth and volatile as a match tip pinch pain into rapture make milk from salt sweat sweet  if you were to speak you’d whisper only  suck, suck, suck watch them shiver while you become stone sugar or leak pearls meteor shower of stretch marks or hair like grass at the lake edge you rise like a swan neck from the water no wonder they can’t lay an eye on you explicit everywhere blurred and black barred you slip into the sun and suddenly necks snap the street  the show the earth’s spin shuts down you cousin of cosmos made a duct taped mouth they want you in the dark a quiet gnawed trough spit soaked and suckled empty and mistaken for skin