Tuesday, May 02, 2006



Dorianne Laux
from Facts about the Moon

I’d forgotten how fast it happens, the blush of fear
and the feeling of helpless infantile stupidity, stooped
over the sink, warm water gushing into a soapy bowl,
my fingers plunged in, knuckles bumping the glass
like a stillborn pig in formaldehyde, my aging eyes
straining to read the warning label in minus-two type,
lifting the dripping deformed thing up every few seconds
to stare, unbelieving, at the seamless joining, the skin
truly bonded as they say happens immediately, thinking:
Truth in Labeling, thinking:  This is how I began inside
my mother’s belly, before I divided toe from toe, bloomed
into separation like a peach-colored rose, my eyes going slick
and opening, my mouth releasing itself from itself to make
lips, legs one thick fin of thrashing flesh wanting to be two,
unlocking from ankles to knees, cells releasing between
my thighs, not stopping there but wanting more double-ness,
up the crotch and into the crotch, needing the split
to go deeper, carve a core, a pit, a two-sided womb, with
or without me my body would perform this sideshow
trick and then like a crack in a sidewalk
stop.  And I’d carry that want for the rest of my life,
eyes peeled open, mouth agape, the world
piled around me with its visible seams:  cheap curtains,
cupboarch doors, cut bread on a plate, my husband
appearing in the kitchen on his two strong legs
to see what’s wrong, lifting my hand by the wrist
and I want to kiss him, to climb him,
to stuff him inside me and fill that space, poised
on the brink of opening opening opening
as my wrinkled fingers, pale and slippery,
remember themselves, and part.

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