Discovering the Erotic Creature After Sheila Kelley’s TED Talk

Defense Mechanism 3, Elizabeth Ellenwood

Watch her barefoot in cotton—

not high heels and silk—

enough skin to grip the surface, but

not enough to make you think this is for anyone 

but her. Watch her pace like a lynx around the pole,

swoop like a snowy owl, suspend herself 

upside-down, mane brushing the floor while her body 

roars. Beautiful, an adrenaline breath 

at the top of a precipice, a heartbeat stutter.

Watch her kiss her own soul in the air.

About the Author

Rachel Geffrey · Chatham University

Rachel Geffrey is a 2018 alumna of Chatham University with a BFA in Creative Writing. Rachel’s poems and prose have been published in Cicada, Quail Bell Magazine, and others, and have been anthologized in Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing, 2017) and America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Northeast Region (Z Publishing, 2018). Find her at “On Discovering the Erotic Creature After Sheila Kelley’s TED Talk” first appeared in Minor Bird. 

About the Artist

Elizabeth Ellenwood 

Elizabeth Ellenwood received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2010 and a graduate degree from The University of Connecticut. Her fascination with the ocean and the creatures who inhabit it has led to photography and video work on cephalopods and their defense mechanisms. One of her images from this series was awarded the 2018 Gloriana Gill Art Award in Photography from The University of Connecticut, and she is the recipient of the 2019 Zach’s Award which funds her project of creating images from collected beach trash to promote an awareness to ocean pollution. “Defense Mechanism 3” first appeared in Long River Review.

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