The Music InsideChristina Hutchins
This is the truck inside the truck, the plane
inside the airplane I drew early most afternoons,
a psychological puzzle handed over to my mother.
This is the poem inside the poem.
As early morning I stood high on a kitchen chair,
firm hands unbraided, brushed, & damp braided
my hair. The barrette clasped tight, my mother rough-
pulled her comb through my brush. I trotted
a cloud of childhair out to the yard,
laid it on the tips of the grass. First rays arrested
among the flutes & stems, scent of a dark-water birth,
this is the dew inside the dew.
Late in the day polished boards streamed light
under a locked closet door. Three quarters of an inch
& seeping through every luminescent leaf, lemonade
stand, white wicker & Kimberly-pink child nipple,
this is the child inside the child, cross-legged
below the brush of coat hems. Beside the bright stripe
on the dark of the neighbor’s floor, silence was thickening
to song. Released at suppertime, I jogged home
past crowds of juniper thorn & poison peas,
chest-high clappers of the bell that was my outstretched
arm, my round & rosined palm. “Ring,” I said.
I sang, “wrangle, wrung.”
Amid the bell-towers a high wind rose & rang
the thousands, tongues all garrulous green. Fists
of first drops, fragrant the breath of tarp
& tarmac, a hidden creek rattled.
A joyful dog barked the
letters of foul words.
A joyful dog barked the letters of foul words.
A piebald horse took a weed-lined walk.
A mower & a mower’s own path following it,
all of us grew damp & damper:
The cantering horse. The joyful dog.
Bright the shorn. Stubble. The creek!
This is the drummed bottom of a blue plastic pool,
Hairs, collected & abandoned, line the inner nests
of unknown birds. I left the cage door open while I slept.
Dank as an albatross & happy at the flute hotel,
I fastened the past with a loose clasp.
This Is a Woman
Excerpt from Crocodile: Memoirs
From a Mexican Drug-Running Port
Five Scenes from Six and Renaldo
The Music Inside
The Ear as Rifle
Tania Van Winkle
Arriving in New York for My Grandfather’s Funeral
Notes on Summer
Notes on Continuation
Spanking Without a Cause
You Are Here
Brother and Sister
The Ugly Duckling