Today's poem is by Daneen Wardrop
"Although only about one out of eighty or ninety live births produces
twins, at least one-eighth of all natural pregnancies begin as twins.
Many of us singletons, in other words, began life as something more
as part of a pair."
Sometimes my shadow is attached a little crooked
a tree, before I know it's going to storm, bows,
and my skin slides against another's
that is the skim of the thought
of a storm.
Her lungs not absorbed completely,
a pocket when I breathe,
name brailled in the rain to come.
She would like my hair, twist it around
her fingers of glass ... I don't
turn around quickly ... I am the one
deep into the extra pocket.
She lines me,
Sometimes the water drains too fast
and I can't shake myself out of the bathtub
clean enough. If haloes were for the having
they'd look like the wavering, brilliant shadow
the floating hair casts
in the tub. You could pick the house up
by the corners, wring it out.
The older I get, the more rain
returns to me.
When I pray she gets in the way,
comes between me and my pressed hands.
She messes with my windows
field of color, texture like ontology
a thing you can palm.
Always dimples, her knuckles
how odd to think of never-knuckles.
And her profile never a coastline
of pout and blink
foam, splaying sand, lazy spray,
rest, sleep, neck, pucker, turn. Fingers
their own obscene concaves against concaves,
left against right,
hollow on hollow.
When I pray she intercedes
for what is unaskable.
She's diffident, all right,
and willful, too. I never understood
the lack of stubbornness
rip my vertebrae out whole.
How the crusted globe would
hold together without it.
What goes round. When anyone makes love
they should thrust in spirals. We'd dizzy
ourselves to God.
The end of the merry-go-round
there. And there He'd be, too, your twin sitting on his knee.
And you'd open a can of pork-and-beans,
and feed her with a runcible spoon
and an eye dropper. You might think you'd tell her,
I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
but you don't. You say,
here. here. here.
and you look away from her eyes'
lightning, which could cut you to glitter.
There was never a time when lust didn't understand loneliness.
Before ultrasound she flew.
You could not tell her running
from her hair flying.
If I could seize her I would
teach her "Twinkle, Twinkle,"
and the ABC song,
both the same melody:
How I wonder
Next time won't you
I would hold her in my palm, tip her gently, gently,
place her on the equator
of the globe to walk and spin.
She would leave footprints
the size of letters of countries.
A woman I know got to take Emily Dickinson's
personal Herbarium out of the glass case
and hold it. When she opened
the book, she said,
buds pressed in its pages lapped with fragrance.
Leaving a soft thing
in the middle of a bed rustle
I found the imprint
of a neck in the wrinkle
more than either of us.
Poor naked neck.
She's mostly neck.
Curved, bird claw stretching
to eat. She never eats,
one way and another.
Insists upon it
as the nest sits, aware,
embarrassed by its hole.
Breathe through your belly.
Don't let the wrist worry
what the toejoints are doing.
By means of our pointed bones we sit,
view lofted hills. Think into your ribcage.
Let your throat beat.
Your blood can run backwards a minute.
Copyright © 2008 Daneen Wardrop All rights reserved
from The Odds of Being
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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