Abecedary

A, the clown salute:
two hands raised
top off the A,
but his legs are doing the splits.

B, the aerial view
of two people kissing.

C is a woman’s body.
Her head nudges the shoulder of D,
her mate.
Her knees are curled up
against his back.

E is very square.

F is a child at the zoo,
imitating the flamingo.

G, a hand cupped around the eye,
shading the eye
from a bright light.

H is a child,
putting on overalls.

I, a lonely thing,
with no hands.

J, a crochet hook.

K is indecisive
and wants to walk in two directions,
at once.

L is a strong grandmother.
She has the posture of a storyteller doll.
All the letters that follow L are her grandchildren.

M, N, O,
a child jumps, dives, somersaults.

P, a mother embracing her child
while she nurses him.

Q, the laundry is out to dry,
and a sleeve drags against the ground.

R, a woman is filling her laundry basket.
One foot is forward.

S, an infant quieted in your arms.

T, a tree.

U, V, W, a roller coaster,
or the pattern of branches against the sky.

X, a weathervane
the wind spins on its heels.
The same wind that, uprooting trees,
can pollinate blossoms.

Y, our union,
a precarious balance,

Z , it’s the coming apart,
the unraveling.
It’s about getting serious
about sleep.
It’s the disassembly,
as when a fire
snaps a log in two.

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