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Natalie May 23
At dawn, her unripe berries glint
A bluish milky white—
Pale ova, pure in their infancy;
The lustrous pearls nest in nooks
Between several sprigged fingers
And sit patiently ‘round her crown,
Clustering at her clavicle;
And her hardy skin
Seeps rich with olfactory bliss—sweet
Sweat of gin, balsamic breath
Of damp, green wood.

She stretches at each fingertip,
Yawning, quietly nursing her young;
She bleeds fertility, silently fruiting,
Flowing maternal certainties.
Her round children suckle preordination
And grow and grow.

Each recoils from chill, dry air, nestles deeply
Into its mother’s folds.
It is winter again, and they
Are white as snow.
Natalie May 23
it made you feel awful—
the contagion very carefully got,
letting the slump in again
and in, and again,
deeper and deeper than ever before,
shaking, trembling, mouth
shut over a sudden darkness
like a token—a dry
communion tablet.
4/29/19
Natalie May 23
it may all be a false alarm,
but there was a stirring—
something born, very faintly
warmed by simplicity—
a whisper of God,
practically automatic.
like breathing.
4/29/19
Natalie May 23
waking in darkness, he saw
curtains
waving manifold,
their inward edges
delectably touched by carbon light
white as sugar—extravagant—
and elsewhere was black.
Natalie May 23
keep your mind,
your own rotten luck.

you’ll bear it because
there isn’t any choice—

except to go to pieces.
say nothing,

hold yourself together.
think about your certain cool pride.
Natalie May 23
everyone secretly hopes
that a syndrome
—a respectable eruption—
will cause the world to admire
the performance
of the youngest sisters—
of the beautiful, modest,
worried people.

“Is it going to explode?”
Natalie May 23
some are dainty
some are kind

some are precious
some are vile

some are poisonous
and black underneath

some are thin
and corkscrew-like

turning constantly
until morning.

break off the cover
show a buried pit of coals.

when done, skin
scales, or feathers will all come off.
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