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NailsNailsTheir hands are brokenBut there is no record of the nailsWhich they pounded into their palmsDay by dayThey learned not to mind the bloodChrist imitatorsFoolsWho thought that redemption could be obtained so easily.
ShortcomingsShortcomingsA shortcoming of mine is to flinchBefore the uncertainties of bone and fleshWhen moonlight screens the iron cotI chain myself and waitFor feathers to hood a slurring faceOh grandmother what a big nose you haveOnce upon a time men could become monstersFingers coalescing into hoovesBloody with revelation they knew the rootBut nowThey are horrorsWhen Beauty awoke she found her beastTo be fur and feathers once again.
LandLandScrubbed by fireby the bristles of a monstrous wind,by the singed brush of a coyote's tail,a mooneater with flattened eyes.He has stripped the land of portents.There has been a holocaust hereof air,of heat,of pawsand nothing has ever happened here since thenexcept the sighing of pipe lean squatterswho once were peoplebut now are moon eaters.When you walk through their abandoned fieldsall you find growing is sand and blackened bones.
GraceGraceIn the Aborigine culture,dreams are worlds. Realitiesgrow like fennel leavesfrom a stalk, fingersfrom a palm. They think us poortrying to gather a leaf with handsthat are soft stunted pads.I want to grow a worldin which I am a monstersomething huge, bloatedwith tusk and tufts of bristlesI will hide beneath beds, eatsmooth delicate children.The townspeople will capture me,skin me, hang my carcass from a polein the town square, a bauble on a stick,not realizing that I am morepure, content than they in their righteousness,their panicked assumption of grace.
The RodThe Rod"Herrington Rod" A surgical procedure to correct scoliosis of the spine. The spine is manually straightened. Bone sheared from the hip is wrapped around the spine, and a rod is attached to the spine with two hooks to hold the spine straight until the bone has fused."I.They sliced me open, inserted a rod, iron-bar thick.Like the men King John hung in cages from treesFor stealing hunks of bread or matted woolI cannot crouch, stand, lie without pain."It's all in your head," they tell me. "Neurotic bitch."So they put me in a room, barred windows,Put pills in my mouth, barred mind.Like those men, I am told that I am responsibleFor the slow creak of pain, this haze of leaf, wood and blood,Guilty as though we forged the iron bars ourselves.II.I am neurotic, willfully imaginative" I agreed, "But this is different, take the rod out."They listened patiently as King John must had listenedTo stories of sons with sores for mouths,Of daughters who stiffened beneath mats of hu
HidingHidingI find myself hiding in the closet:Elijah in his cave waiting for ravens,beaks crammed with white bread.Perhaps fish will fly,fins flapping like laundry.I am so hot. "That's what you get for wearing black."Soon ravens will appear wearing black, flickers of soot.Outside Jezebel stares,the dogs have sucked the marrow from her bones.