She is . . .


L I P S T I C K   &   O T H E R   S E R V I T U D E S



C L A I R E    M A R S D E N




A crooked wind-shaped tree

entangled roots that reach out to touch

the pain in you she can see.

She’s the bird you swallowed

that lives in your heart

so tender and loving

it tore you apart. She’s the wings that you grew

which took you and flew

to places, you dreamed to see.

She is bloodied and broken

a home of unspoken stones

that stick in your shoe.

She is bed socks and dominoes

quiet nights and monotones.

The eddying of sleep and thoughts that creep

over mountain and moor and glen.

An astronomical collision. Star-fall and star-dust,

dark and night. The first incision, the last excision.

Prayer, pain, and fright. She is hope stretched wide like your arms,

dreams spread like a bedsheet.

She is feeble and strong

but loud with song

she delights in the earth as she moves. Moves through you like rain,

no shame, no shame

that she moves like clouds through rain.

She is necessary. She is you. She is life.

She is a knife that can cut you from boredom.

She is a knife that can cut you.


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