April 9, 2009 § Leave a comment


Sister, the canary flew into the

Cupboard and smashed up all of your finest porcelain; the ones

You wrapped up in your gray skirt with the bells

That slapped against your thighs when you ran away from his house.

He kept one eye open as you left his kitchen walls bare:

The nails from which they hung formed a mute and shapeless constellation above

The sink. Your stack of dirty dishes—pronged things, concave things, the rotten milk

(I can picture it smudged across your hairless upper lip)—mocked him each

Time he went to turn on the stove.

He could no longer locate hunger.


It had been your dirty knees that made my breath short,

My breasts firmer. You knelt there, but tall like a column

And with redness on all of those round spots: your cheeks, your knuckles, your ear lobes;

A hanging red lantern underneath all of that hair.

You struck a match, and the wood turned black as you braided my hair into knots.

“I’ll tell you something secret,” and she rose up,

Curling her neck over my right shoulder, just to put a kiss on my collarbone.


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