by Paisley Rekdal
unveil themselves in dark.
They hang, each a jagged,
silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright
as polished knives.
They swim the muddled air and keen
like supersonic babies,
the sound we imagine empty wombs might make
in women who can’t fill them up.
A clasp, a scratch, a sigh.
They drink fruit dry.
And wheel, against feverish light flung hard
upon their faces,
in circles that nauseate.
Imagine one at breast or neck,
Patterning a name in driblets of iodine
that spatter your skin stars.
They flutter, shake like mystics.
They materialize. Revelatory
as a stranger’s underthings found tossed
upon the marital bed, you tremble
even at the thought. Asleep,
you tear your fingers
and search the sheets all night.