Virginia Smith


[what is locked out wants everything back]

From the cicada lace of my body steps
a ceramic woman with a row of birds for hair,
her face a tapestry hung from beaks.

Clouds catch and pass over glass-skinned
hands: her feet peonies licked open by ants.
She is not the mouth of anything I write      these days

that begin with a stutter of sun, then rain.
She stands on my dresser before a small
wooden crowd, speaking the language of

carved earth, stone. Like the silver back
of a river or snake, she steps constantly
new from her shed moment into its altared

perception. I wake each dawn to watch where
            she falls, learning how
day finds its twin: one black and one blood.


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