blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1



Self-portrait as a butter-churner
     for your dream

Fungi-like white angels
with the dozen long clear wings

inside testicles, highly-magnified:
obstinate coils

with beaks like scythes—sweet-cream butter, or salted
this is how I will know

if I can make a home. My great-grandmothers
in the Moravian salt marsh

gathered minerals

for their crystal mill—but was that enough to know
if they’d laid down the burden

to pick up a more natural responsibility?

Linked pinkies,

the edges of our closed eyes
like belts of wood beneath the cooper’s

certain ascending and descending hoops—

mouthfuls at the crank of the barrel-churn, of sweet cream
before the butter arrives.  

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