This is my cutting board. These
are my hands adept at cutting. This
is my chicken whose neck I’ll sever.
My cutting board floods with new
geographies. I pluck my fingers of blood. Who
knows a woman’s aim when she swings?
The word-hands of the world lay wreaths
at the serifs of despair. Who says
it can’t be done? The potted
chicken boils and bubbles,
my poem, with time, rights itself.
This is my cutting board.
These are my hands. What happens
when it’s over remains,
this indenture to memory. Today, taste of your skin
suffices. Salt enters the bloodstream.
Don’t take me for a mad woman or shrew.
All day I’ve stirred. Yesterday, the river over-flowed
as we reclined on groundcover.
May I? May I, you’d asked. The river answered.
Already, I swoon in recall
of the Yuba, its fluctuance, its greed. He almost
swallowed me with his fame,
but I’m a sound woman and kept in mind:
I will, by sheer will, one day equal or surpass you.
Such belief is how a woman survives the Dominate.
That’s why my rock finally threw its punch.
You only lack character if you want to, said the priest.
Just ask the rock at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
I’ve since learned to enter rock with my breath.
I’ve always been fond of the hard.
Published December 2021 here: http://www.macqueensquinterly.com/MacQ10X/Henning-Star-Drum.aspx