making and naming

Chelsea Campbell


Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. – Genesis 2:25

settled deep in your lowest rib, i hold god’s breath inside you before you even know i am there. in this way,  we  make  language  and  name  the  beasts.  god  crafted  your  sleeping  body  from  earth’s  smallest particles, each infused with a particular loneliness, and from your body he now shapes me. hello adam. now  that  i  am  made,  i  want  to  name  the  parts  of  me  that  are  no  longer  you.  we  slip  in  and  out  of ourselves in a clean sweat and discover all the ways my thighs are not your lips, and how my spine is myspine because it is not your curved, wet tongue. we work on each other in a frenzy, feeling both light and heavy like a feather and a stone dropped at the same time. but you’re still not sure where you end and i begin. i can’t recall if we ever found a word for the cavity in your chest where i once lived.


Chelsea Campbell received a B.A. in English at the University of South Dakota and reads poetry for the South Dakota Review. She is currently on leave from her M.A. program to be a stay-at-home parent and is writing her first chapbook. Her work appears in Still: The Journal, Kestrel, and elsewhere.