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tonight’s reader once advised me to be a group of brown birds settling in a tree,
& then to fly away; she could not have been more right. her work has appeared
from the sides of chalk cliffs after heavy rains,
& behind drivers’ reflections in car windshields.
her lines offer a grammar of prodigy:
the dwarfed, the caveblind, those with skins oxidized
to a state between iridescence & black powder, & out of this
she has made herself as much as a migration, twice
annually. please join me in welcoming her
to divide herself in two, a magician
& her own assistant mantled in light
like sequins’. this poet feels wishing
as a compulsion; to ease the sense of stocks
always clocking shut around her ankles & wrists, she’s made a study
of hay carts, two-headed snakes, the physics
of spitting into one’s palm, double articulations
among the joints in ladybirds’ feet, cardinal & ordinal ballistics,
rope-skipping & methods for opening fortune cookies
one-handed. so in her work we are offered
as in sacrifice, as grass from the sea, braided & vulnerable
to ash, a mummers’ dance lacking allegiance to the history
which speaks through its wending, its fifes. blind us
herself to herself, & she does; she conducts an avid labor of salvage
over stones that have balanced on each other for eons. but too she quills us,
she curves through space algebraically; she spits out stars
like bright seeds we can’t bear to take in; for years she has suffered
phantom twin syndrome. a thunderstorm
pressed to the ground, asking our reader to behave like a human being
would only be cruel. please join me. where she garlands herself
with hibiscus petals, creased into blue veins,
where she comes sheer. where she cuts into space. please
welcome her flight. typed at the end of a page, her initials
resemble a butterfly and if you’re so lucky
as to receive them in letterpress the urge to caress
their lustrous imprint, ink sticky in the serifs’ sharp hollows,
is irresistible. take scarlet the canon
for her acrobatics. it is impossible to praise her too highly.
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