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Writer: Ruthie Kirchner
Illustrator: Liz Cleaves
I'm a collector of many things;
some of which being wedding gowns from
local donation centers.
the young mothers--
ribs flexed between polyester and tulle;
these hairless darlings with
fingers pinned in the furrow between
fertile lands and hollow hips.
and their young husbands
with docile fingertips
tracing the pathways made by isles of beading,
over cork board, porous frames
to be propped upwards
while our jaws sink back;
mouth heavy with teeth,
swallowing each breath
to swell the lungs with a pale elastic tension;
until the blood turns metallic
burrowing its way through veins like little led balls,
until settling into bronchial boughs;
laying, tendons taut,
eyes rotating in socket like granite globes,
to stare at your feet and wonder
how they got so far away from the rest of your body
this it to be considered as
rehearsal for open casket wakes.
The tongue of caustic cotton;
filaments of starched felt are
complaisant to absorb
the gnostic gospel
like daffodils to sun.
That night I decided that we will name all of our children
And I hope that they have the same copper rings
that control the diameter of your pupil
so that when I show them
how to walk on the creases of paper houses
their metal wire lashes will bat against their cold until
and my daughters heels will be shaved flat.
and after I combed back the tissue that
harbor home to marooned facts
I recall the layout of my childhood grocery store,
after the freezers in the meat isle
and what hid behind the gallons of milk
what is left
is the static awe of holy tongues
grappling to the letters of your name,
the tip poised behind bleached enamel
this, all emerging as a result of the churning of the
was your autumn bit hand
poised between my shoulder blades
nudging me towards the nice woman
with angular lips lined with a terra-cotta crayon
chapped with a pigment close to ginger root
asking us for our Shop-Smart Card.
now, everything is humming.
I hear a thump.
a pigeon had broken it's neck
by throwing itself against
the fogged up glass in the refrigerated section.
I recognize this humming as a hymn,
a song of praise,
as it was in the beginning, both now, and always, and to the
ages of ages
—my throat now sticking like two halves of grapefruit meat
pressed back together-
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world
#Poem #Poetry #CreativeWriting #Illustration #PolyesterAndTulle #WeddingGown