Germ Plasm by Brody Parrish Craig

Hand sanitize my image in the bright screen of yr phone

X: Are you up?? Manic again??
Y: I just want to know yr ok
Z: How is it that you do that thing with your tongue??

Take the laces out my bookbind. Note the taste asymmetry.

A floral note of weeds in every garden.

Guard the door:                 [closed-inclosed-mouth-closedin-shutclosed]

Parenthetical bracket jam of doubt & oven

Catch the door on fire

                                                               When the smoke gets in your eyes, the toast will burn,


I toasted every specimen, poured out another storm, a cup, a bralette for infectious coin of mirror

in my pocket—turned out, empty, house of straws & shoe lace cut

Another empty metaphor for house: I saw the body burst.

Glass ceiling in the microscopic hand. Hand me down letters.

Dear sir, you owe us $3000 after copay for your jailing fee. Please write the insurance off with my left hand,

A DSM approaches you upon the sidewalk. When you cross the street, it’s god in your left shin

A crick and groan.

Another day we wasted on the hospital for dinner.

In the cafeteria, I flail another brand: queer coded miracle.

A tampon without strings is not a cost, is not a spectacle.

A body with germ plasm in the brand. A little tag inside the sweater itch.

A skill cell breeding skin cell in the cells and cellulite of hospital.

A fat thigh on the left eye in the drain, another toothpaste that I dreamed of.

The little cupped shampoo under your hand, a cheap pill bottle.

Take my body breaking off this land, another dandy root.

I took you up to every kitchen counter—tasteless, water comes.

Drink drank drunk as fuck along the river, I am swimming in
the days & hours coating every strand. A hairy root.

When I burn the bread like straw, the names come down on me like rain.
A Rumplestiltskin slurs along the current, names the shimmer.

Every orb you wept into the second hand—a tiny specimen.

A tearjerk of a film is not a scummy manifesto.

I taste the germ & plasm in my brand, an off beat miracle.

I know my body as a body once the lightswitchmoth.

When lightswitchoff, I am a lights out check along the door jamb.

Every hinge as color coded as my mouth. This asterisk.

An aster wrist to taste the constellations.

Star stuck to assigned, we meant the risk. We knew it well.

Anomaly of batter in the brain, a second miracle.

A Cake somebody left into the storm, a disco hymn & drum.

My ear is never listening for breakfast—only specimen.

An insect on the windowsill & tongue, a bug leaked in the skin, a transmitter & transplant of the ward-theward-theward

The Word. The Ward. The Wyrd.


I am writing, mother.

I am writing out the history of words, of cheap bait articles.

I click the smoke screen open with my tongue, I pop one button off.

My collar melts to candy in the glass of every church window.

A picture show of Jesus on the merry-go-round ride.
Mother Mary was a horse beat to the hoofs with every vacant inn.

A vacancy behind my click bait eyes. A eunuch’s burst.

I cut my body off mid sentence for the word, another label’s scrap.

I fed the dog my business in the mirror, caught a violent charge.

I unleashed each electron in my hand—nobody talked, just static.

A static image of another man, another woman, GIRL!

I know you didn’t say that over dinner.

Who gave you the right?

The upbringing of clavicle since birth, another bone to pick>>>>>>>

I less than three the trinity of verse, emoji’s fire risk.

I dropped a selfie in someone’s night stand. I break the curse words off.

I star the passage from my mouth that runs into the atmosphere.

I folded every heaven in my hand. A ginsberg’s angel dust.

A powdered sugar sentiment of south along the café’s crumb.

Do you know just what it means to leave like us? A turn the beat around.

A locomotive running in my hand, a train of thought announced
another train of stationary pad—a pen to write along.

A black ink in the shimmer in my figure of my burn & which
will I become from writing down

A spell of articles

Another omen rooting through the tongue

To find a cell in there

No sound alike the cover of a song

Another bedframe off

I taste the objectivity of mirror in the swarm

I taste the gentle kindness of the river in my mouth

A spit wad for the teacher on my tongue

I told you off again

And off again, I flicked another spite. Another sprite. A word

with you & you, the nameless vers—the unknown fire risk—

Germ plasm is my gender & my brand.


Brody Parrish Craig (they/them) is the author of the chapbook Boyish (Omnidawn 2021) and edited TWANG, a regional anthology of TGNC+ creators in the south/midwest. Their first book, The Patient is an Unreliable Historian, is forthcoming from Omnidawn Publishing in 2024.