by Mary Stone Dockery
I’ve forgotten where my hands go. I take the scissors, cut stripes from shirts, paper, robes. I will build a nest with these. The floor is like a game board or a boat deck. Here, we slip together. Catch flying bones and put them in our mouths. I will not destroy lust with these hands, with a complicated knot. We walk in and out of doorways. See the lines on the floor. Your heels all cut up. Remind me again what we search for. What we won’t find. What color my hair used to be before you asked me to change it. How long ago we met. I’ve forgotten where to place my name. Your shoulder blade or the back porch. There are more bones in the kitchen, waiting to be nailed down. The casket scent follows you from the other room. Ghosts wave in the all our doorways.
The smell of burning hair. Sweet. Charred honey. Each morning she twisted newspapers into violent bouquets and lit them on fire. Her hair got shorter. Began to fall out. She bought wigs at a store down the street and wore them to parties. She wore each one only once, then burned them in her bathtub. When neighbors began to complain, she bought exotic birds to cover the sound of fire, naming them after brothers and sisters and lovers. Her lust for burning was art or weaponry, she couldn’t be sure. One night, her neighbors lined up outside her door, smoke the color of birds leaking beneath the door. Inside, ash. Inside, clouds disguised the moon. They found her later at a bar, a cold drink in her hand. A crow drawn on her bald head, she told the crowd what the feathers asked.
Mary Stone Dockery‘s first poetry collection, “Mythology of Touch,” was published by Woodley Press in 2012. She is the author of two chapbooks, “Aching Buttons” (Dancing Girl Press) and “Blink Finch” (Kattywompus Press), both forthcoming in 2012. Her poetry and prose has appeared in many fine journals. She currently lives in Lawrence, KS where she co-edits the Stone Highway Review.