Book of Dolls 46; Book of Dolls 48



The gods who made me small were so much

smaller. Everyplace was their address.

The crack inside the sidewalk, the tooth

on its chain, the head of the quarter

I rubbed for luck. They made my head

a hole to hide in. They made the hole

an eye. Just ask the leaves where they tremble.

In them, this thing that is nothing. I

call them wind, and the leaves go still.

I call these days departure is infectious.

It spreads another autumn like a fire.

Just ask the things you touch: the face gone

faceless, the fingerprinted coin. In time,

the pain becomes impossible to miss.





Among the doppelgangers most relieved

to see me, I have brought you one

who is uncertain—a doll with a button

where a mouth should go, a skeptical

O that longs for the eyelet to go in.

I know, I say, these days it is hard

to connect, to trust the folks who,

you still suspect, do not, cannot, trust you.

It breaks me in half, never knowing

who it was, in childhood, I knelt to.

If sex was all he wanted. The older boy

who pushed my head down. Was I that place

a button fits the way a nail fits a hand,

a hand a cross. Am I that open question.

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