Requirements for Insertion




 1. Stirrups


In a book I love, the childless queen rides before

her troops, reins in a gloved hand. Feet in the air,

I’m half-naked, shivering between sheets of paper.

Last year, my sister also raised both knees for her

dead to be cleaned out. After winter, winter—hope

is a pebble in a horseshoe. With rubber hands,

the queen parts my legs. Long live December.

As long as the horse lives, the horse bears her.




2. Swab


you’ll feel nothing

the doctor says

then vanishes

I feel nothing

cold inside me

nothing grows

I’m partial to promises

I can unmake

like beds this time

of year is cold

and between words

nothing grows

she holds my hand

good girl she says




3. Speculum


Queen in her                only

Queen with her            only

Queen since her           only

Queen near her            only

Queen past her            only

Queen of her               only

Queen for her              only



4. Forceps


sister did you feel yourself break into a crevasse / if I

loved you I wouldn't ask / you to accept my metaphor

for a loss / beyond understanding / two bodies / share

one thought / a ring of knives slips inside and I’m wed

to volition / If I loved / you broke / through one kind 

of womanhood / I hereby consent to dab blood off /

your sheets / am I less fortunate / a common thought

no absences are alike / blank mattress / unmarked page 

apology beginning if /snow melts in air / was it snow




5. Device


In the paper bed, a rip


shaped like a fingertip.


I drove myself here,


I’ll drive myself home.