CONYER CLAYTON

unclean echoing 

 

 

We take some mushrooms at a cabin in Quebec. We find an eagle feather in a field, strips of birch-bark 

planted in our path. I bleed heavy. My cup is full of dark, thick blood. You hold it while I dip the eagle 

quill in. I draw a tree 

 

with my uterine-lining 

on the flattened parchment 

 

re-create / re-route / re-root past fullness. Skin now weighted down. Not sticky but slick. Use what's 

been shed — exit 

 

                      myself without pain 

 

how to harvest, thin tin  

   bucket of my body.  

         Instead — 

 

I sketch roots, letters of our names, initials clot, chunk, this could have fed a child but here — spread it  

 

thinner         draw a leaf           breathe it dry         wonder if I could sell this 

 

Limited Edition 1/1 

Birch-bark 

Mid-menses ink in psychedelic typeset 

 

I love flushing crucial things I create down the toilet. I love when it takes two tries. Copper induced 

weightiness, breast overflow, body overflow, sap push past bark. Yeah, yeah, a woman is a tree, I keep 

coming back to this, a woman wrapped in red paper leaves, a woman 

 

swollen / grotesque / beautiful 

 

I wonder about privacy but 

 

it feels good to let myself bleed in public. Hold my once-shame up to a dim bulb. To watch you hold it, 

calm. Transparent. Witness colour change. To craft cramps into crudely drawn glyphs, roll pain into a 

scroll and keep it in a bowl on our bookshelf. We have company and no one knows. I wonder if it is 

sanitary, and if this wondering 

 

isn't just millennia of men  

                                  saying 

                                  I'm unclean  

 

echoing through me 

Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa-based writer, musician, editor, and gymnastics coach. Her debut full-length collection of poetry is We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite (2020, Guernica Editions). She has released 2 albums and 7 chapbooks, most recently, Sprawl | the time it took us to forget (Collusion Books, 2020), written collaboratively with Manahil Bandukwala. She won The Capilano Review's 2019 Robin Blaser Poetry Prize, ARC Poetry Magazine’s 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, and is a member of the creative collective VII, whose debut chapbook is forthcoming with Collusion Books in Spring 2021.

deathcap is Coven Editions' online literary mag featuring a curated collection of poetry, fiction and community pieces.  Review our Submissions Guidelines for more information if you are interested in contributing to deathcap.

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