Virginia Smith Rice
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While in Fingerjoint Cells Lie New Virgins, a Marguerite Eye

In this, my season of being a proven flight risk, your concern
roots in our warring neuroses, my apparent Plath-

like tendencies, and here I feel a need to defend her
self as strength surviving – then trip into silence, remembering.

No. She is more than virtuous curiosity, saint
saint saint. Look: these her fingers, there her baby, her marriage

dress embroidered with sticky-pearled worms. Sit back,
fat jug, and contemplate a world clear as water: a greenhouse

slumps forward, framework mild, resigned, windows
blown over a ground still startled and shrill. Panes count

and recount each shard carried off in some damaged thing
while a bucket tips, wire hoops loosened from wood slats

rounded by hand, a hand or two also gone missing. All these
misplaced pieces, quickening. You stare and stare, leaning into

a vast capacity for /un/accountability. Stop crying. Consider
clean palms too empty to clasp, how they spark and shine.

meridian32

“[while in fingerjoint cells lie new virgins, a marguerite eye]” first appeared in Meridian 32, January 2014.  Both the title and the lines “these her fingers, there her baby, her marriage / dress embroidered with sticky-pearled worms. Sit back, / fat jug, and contemplate a world clear as water” are variations of poetry by Sylvia Plath.

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