The nail upon which the mirror rests is wearing thin,
Joshua, it cannot hold. Emerson said the eye was the
first circle, but I’m beginning to doubt that as I look
into my own mouth and see all the way down You found
a plant with roots exposed and brought it home. It had four
strange round leaves and now so many more begin to unfold.
Why not? We are not famous and we may as well let the old
leaves burn. Let A be a house in the crook of a peninsula, look
me in the eye as the circle expands: we have always been married
to that shadow inside the cup, that fire pit. I’ve decided to make my
hands into a cup of salt. I’ve decided that you’re going to have to build
me a home at the edge of something. I’ve counted ways we could be born,
but we always start as a tube. And that’s something to remember: no matter
who a person has become, they were once something to see the sky through.
If you can believe that water can turn
to wine and wine can turn to blood, then we
can force open the jaws that gnaw at our skirts.
Touch the hem of my skirt: you see two
women can wear the same skirt two different
ways. Two women can hide behind one an-
other and look like one. Two women con
-tain another woman and we will start
can we start again please? Can we start a
-gain? Can you tell the difference between them?
The train passes between us, the engine
carries me off. But I’ll come back again,
and this time, I’ll put up a fight. I’ll be
all fists. I come to tell you this: Distance
between daughter cells as they split is a
matter of perception. Can we start a-
Elegy: Francesca Woodman
or, Early Work
Denise Jarrott‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in petri press, Dusie, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Volta, Bat City Review, Cut Bank. She lives in Colorado.