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Rachel McKibbens

DELICATE, FINGERLESS

 

I found some 3 a.m. turbulence in pitch black sleeping
beside the railroad tracks off Wilson Road.  Is it yours?
I followed it through the alleyway down Dead House Row,
then it stopped and stood still. I tapped it on the shoulder
and it turned. Its face: a drawing of someone standing in a window.
It made a grand sound. A low moan. No skin and all gloom.

It became a hungry woman with hissing hair and scales for scalp.
Does it need medication? Do you miss it entirely,
like a cut-down breast misses her blood engine?
It wants to remember you. I talk to it. Offer names
that might bring comfort. When I say William,
it licks its lips. When I sing Mary, Mary it sways and sways.
When I ask where it came from, it mouths that empty girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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