Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recipe: for sisters

Sister: You have two claws
and a beak where there used to be a mouth
-- black beady eyes and a red nose.
You want to slit open his guts
with the sharp edge
of each word.

Sister: You have a popped
blood vessel in your right eye
and your head in a ceramic bowl.
You're far away from us
and drowsy, head drooping
like a small child sitting
too long in the sun.

Sister: You are stuck in the middle
of someone else's crusted-black lung,
your problems like flies
around your glorious crown.

Sister: You have a bare brown arm in the moonlight,
and you hear a soft echo--
Do you miss it?
Creeping slowly into your bed
is a memory of bird noises made in the kitchen.
Closed eyes block out the silence
and a confession that was stuck, I'm sure, on the tip of a tongue --
but you left that love on the porch.

By the pure power of our imagination we:
dreamed all evil men good
thought bad things about our bodies
and supposed we could save lost souls.

We were trapped
in the seedy under-belly
of the bible belt.

But now, quietly waging a war to be free,
we slip out of town
one by one,
and our soft, scarred arms
as we put down the weights.

This is the grit that grinds the pearl.
This is the wind that waxes the world.
This is the worm that undoes the fact.

[dedicated to Cassidy Sickmen]

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