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Post Road Magazine #35

I am Become a Blunt Instrument

Kerri Webster

Once when I was but a girl I walked along
the green canal I gathered bugs
in jars and flowers in skirts I felt
love’s first blush between my thighs and then
because this is the world one night I heard a girl
stabbed through the throat. Some nights
my soul leaves my body, floats
along the river, floats back upstream.
I AM NOT MAGICAL and write plain
scripture, perhaps I will construct an oubliette.
Gentlewomen of the privy chamber
there were lions here. The pain of women is gamma
rays, that’s why the earth is glowing the scripture glowing and if I lick
the tip of this pen my jaw
will rot. By lions
I mean the North American lion. Hold out
your hand for serpentine, for nephrite, last night my soul
went looking for lion bones, pelvis in which
to plant some succulents. Gentlewomen
of the privy chamber, the earth is formed of crystal and blood
and there is no pastoral here tho men journal
their yards and in the pastures
horses starve from want
of touch.

Once when I was a young woman I had the loveliest
cottage turtles in the garden I guess a skylight over which
clouds conversed a pleasant
writing desk and then
because this is the world one night the neighbor
screaming CUNT CUNT CUNT, wife
opening the door naked the baby over her breast her other
hand over her crotch and then him in the yard
the cops. Sometimes a man will say
he’s a pacifist and if I’m in a good mood I think that’s
cute. Gentlewomen of the privy chamber
rub this heliodore crystal on your gums
to absorb some light. Neither soul nor
body can drink canal water. A holy book
consists of: psalms, parables, the telling of
supernatural happenings, and often the whole generative impulse
from the absence of space and
time to what will be.

Once when I was a fine lady I dined
in elegance such napkins a constructed water view ice
clinking in my glass as tho
limitless and then
because this is the world one night my lovely
companion said what she said as re: her shattered
eye socket/a fist. Last night my soul
spooled back in time to meet the horses of this continent who
were the size of foxes and then
I woke and kept up the righteous work of praying
a man dead. Gentlewomen of the privy
chamber hold out yr hands for howlite
calcite kyanite feldspar aquamarine. Nobody
wants to be a prophetess, somebody mows
his lawn, vestigial hay-gathering, what
bales we have are stunted squares, the sky the lavender of fields of lavender or
vials of morphine. The
branches scratch a blessing into the pane. A hole
in the throat will intend toward closing but
won’t and sound
will be re-routed through.
Gentlewomen of the privy chamber, in
pawn shops the pearl-handled revolvers
sing to us.

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