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Poetry Feature: “my home having come to this” By CM Burroughs


my home having come to this

In the porn factory, none locks her head in a box. None is trapezed or gagged. Everyone wants to know what my inside looks like. And a transparency about the skin. It is not long before one stops his hinged posture and says, “Look at me. I love you,” which my whole body opens to hear, as if it has been uttered before by someone I loved. I give myself as I’ve given myself to a field at dusk—without distraction or thought. Here. My body, my body’s inside. Here. All its tender. Red pulp.



Hannah Thompson (Poetry Editor): In “my home having come to this” Burroughs makes a mess of names and perspective. We meet a character whose name, “none” is a common pronoun, denoting “no one.” Ironically, none, whose name is a homophone of “nun,” is “trapezed or gagged” at a porn factory. Thus, in the first two sentences, we are thrust into a dense world of contradictions, puns, and reversals. This syntactical tangle serves to disorient a reader who is asked to reckon with heady themes of objectification, sexuality, and identity formation in the mono-culture.


This poem appeared in Indiana Review 35.1 in Summer 2013

CM Burroughs is the author of two poetry collections: The Vital System (Tupelo Press, 2012) and Master Suffering (Tupelo Press, 2020.) She is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia College Chicago, and has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, her poetry has appeared in journals including Poetry, Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Bat City Review, and Volta. Burroughs is a graduate of Sweet Briar College, and she earned her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.