The Town Knows It’s a Girl
They rubbed salt on me without my knowledge. Plucked my father to a single-strand lariat of hair. When the pure gold was dangled over my palm, the pendant swung in circles. The pendant spun a hive. I tried to tie everything in contingency knots or hexagons. Uncrossed my legs. The skeleton keys picked up by the thin end giving me away, honeycomber that I am: each pin unpricked over a wrist. I told the bees a stinger instead. Told them my queen was dead: I think I am a stolen. Sick with a colony, with a collapse. I do not touch my lips—& the town knows: it’s a girl. When she turns opaque the town will take her: an anchor, a paperweight, a cake of stickying light. There were fits & pennies: a chalk white arrow. I wore this when spring turned to summer—the dried lilies packed in baby’s breath: a reliquary of practice contractions. Her quickening heartbeat a sough. The jig up just before deliverance.