V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




There were wonders, but we didn’t know
they were wonders, or that they belonged

to us. The watermelon we tethered in a maple
with fishing line, just to see who would look up.

A dare involving teeth. Sentences we’d write
to burn. I traded my fear of matches for a love

of shattered plates, a restaurant where I smashed
saucers one by one before I quit. I took the apron

with me. There were children in the dust outside
the door, and I became one of them. I still have

two sides. A lake behind the house, and behind
the lake, a field. Split-rails banked by chain

link. I found a place where they converge.
Here, let me put your hand on the seam.

There’s a filament inside both of us, though
we never noticed. It’s imaginary most days.

A man once snipped two invisible hairs
from my arm, kept them in a wooden box.

I could light that box on fire with my tongue.
It’s a good thing that I didn’t care. This apron

is the only one for me, its tender bleach line
at the waist. My first day, Pam laced me up.

They docked three minutes from my pay,
but now I can wear it as tight as you like.

Sometimes the trees rearrange themselves.
Everything I own I place within your reach.


© by Mary Biddinger


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