As a child I stood in freezing waterthe temperature bluing my toes. NextI drank milk for twelve years& shouted, I am Rip Van Winkle,Jesus Christ, & Siddhartha.My phenotype is lily of the valley,a watery bourgeonal of the highersocioeconomic class. Listen,some say I’m poisonous. Tinybell, mortar & pestle—I’m alwayscrossing the same river twice.I found the cause & know not me.During high winds, the open windowcloses the door. I am cave-shaped,but lacking void, illuminatedby snow-lanterns, my lace-finerna ribbons are yourgrandmother’s favorite story,a recipe smuggled out of the oldcountry. Only cookbooks end well.Touch not the glove, the viruswhose red hand comforted my& thy check. I am a spore. I amnot one, but four, the knee that nightlyrests in the back of yours, touching,like a hand that forsook a sleeping child,like an infant uncurling womb to world. [End Page 116]
Rachel Morgan is the author of the chapbook, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press). Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is the Poetry Editor for the North American Review. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Mid-American Review, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Boulevard, and DIAGRAM.