Queenlier

By Sarah Crossland

Of two sisters only one is necessary, our mother says.

She braids a cluster of birthroot through the creasing of Cerisa’s bun.

I watch them, shelling almonds into a bucket between our beds

piled with atlas quilts and brass footing. Each pillow a clean accordion.

 

She braids a cluster of birthroot through the creasing of Cerisa’s bun

and asks us which. Myrrh or white bean oil for our breasts

piled with atlas quilts. Brass footing, each pillow a clean accordion

ready to unfold. This will be our second test.

 

She asks us which. Myrrh or white bean oil for our breasts.

In the morning if no veins collapse I will be fertile this year. Cuisses

ready to unfold. This will be our second test.

I know my own strength. The nuts come apart in pieces.

 

In the morning if no veins collapse, I will be fertile this year. Cuisses

and coxal bone beneath the king’s left hand. Last fall

I knew my own strength. The nuts came apart in pieces.

What I mean to say is there was no child after. All

 

her coxal bone beneath the king’s left hand. Last fall

I watched them, shelling almonds into a bucket between our beds.

What I mean to say is there was no child. After all,

of two sisters only one is necessary, our mother said.

 

___

Sarah Crossland is a Poetry MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches creative writing and serves as the Managing Editor of Devil’s Lake. Her website is www.sarahcrossland.com.


Comments are closed.