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. 
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