Unsewn by Tawni Waters


When a woman comes unzipped
ripped at the knees
the world gleams menacing gold.
Dust and mold melt together
into a borderless haze
of brown-green-gray.
She staves off disaster
with blue pills
white wine
alabaster shrines
built for gods she knows
(damn it, she knows)
love her.

She wakes up some mornings
with bruises
she can’t explain,
but their pain is nothing
compared to the buzzing in her brain
the blinding light
the oncoming train

and still she knows
just as she arose
that time before
she will again.
(Persephone’s Resplendent Resurrection
coming soon to a theatre near you.)

And of these men

(always the men)
who want to love her
one will emerge
to cradle her head
and whisper,
“There, there.”

But it’s never the men,

it’s the midnight prayers
that sustain her.
She watches the wounds
scab over
Stitching herself, never mind
the needle’s prick, she becomes sewed up,
un-rent, less spent.
Her eyes are brighter,
the nights less cold.
Like an old eagle
her soul swoops down from the trees
licks her bloodied knees.
“There there,” her spirit whispers
fanning her fevered face with wild wings.

She is her own best lover.

The invisible saints
that stand guard by her bed
cradle her head best of all.
Not deigning to entertain demons,
she acquaints herself
with benevolent gods
who whisper
she is a queen.