Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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     The sun bloated, coming out of extinction . . .
          —Thomas James

She sluices into gloved hands
white as deep sea spiders.
Yawping, dissolving in dirge.
In the ward’s unflinching fire:
a kinked bone transom the doula
lays down on the mise en place
with steel skewers & tongs the width
of hagfish. For escaping.
This world to the next.

The first things she smells:
terrified horse hooves,
wedding bells, stitch of ants
in the gravel ordered
as Nazca lines. Her breath
stinks of copper, arms
erupting in two
gray geysers. The zinnia
& dahlia zipper
together in dusk.
Everything brambled.

She finds a necklace
of convulsing affirmations.
Neck belled with amaranth,
clothes slick with jicama pulp.
To repel. The fields blare
into the sky. She walks away
a sliver, ransomed birdsong
balled in her throat until every
root crawls back into its native
water. Before the catafalque.  end  

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