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Gilda

Gilda, my black breath drew you open      my black breath raised my arms
until I was ripping through my own skin      until I was meat in the house
and gun play
 
while pigeon marched, chewing bread
 
Gilda, red throat
 
Gilda, the saints have long necks
and I sow my black hair to their heads
 
I wash with soap
I floss my teeth
I hop in a sack
my legs tied
 
and the sack that holds me
bears my need
 
 
Gilda opened her mouth
 
Gilda, how red the pouch of morning
the actual morning, I mean, mercy,
the color of the grass is green
 
 
But Gilda fled with antlers on      a pale boat floating through trees
Gilda, with a ceramic doll in her short arms      opened her mouth
like a canoe
 
O! porcelain wife, incessant as the mouth of a carriage
God is calling out through the teeth of wolves
then calling out through the sparrows
 
 
The earth is already here
Put your warm hand on the ground
 
 
 

Andrea Baker’s most recent collection of poetry is Each Thing Unblurred is Broken (Omnidawn, 2015). She has been a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellow, and in 2005 she was the recipient of the Slope Editions Book Prize for Like Wind Loves a Window. She is also the author of a not-quite-graphic-novel Famous Rapes (Water Street Press, 2015), which looks at the depiction of sexual assault from Mesopotamia to the current day.