Joanne Dominique Dwyer
May 25

Women have always inserted objects into orifices.

Swan feathers are offered to pacify the sea.

I once refused a gift of a toy.

The original rosary 165 rolled rose petals.

Think of the hands doing such affectionate work.

My birth on May 25 makes me a twin:

one of me immobile on the mattress,

the other never leaves the mountain.

Women have always inserted objects into orifices:

oiled snakes and molted stones;

sphinx moths and cygnet eggs.

After the execution of Christ

Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome

were exiled to the sea –

banished in a small boat without food, water, or sails.

Black Sara, queen of the gypsies

swam out and rescued them.

Now every May 25 the statues of Sara and the two Marys

are taken out of sealed boxes

from the crypt of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

and carried out on a boat to bless the sea.

Women have always inserted objects into orifices:

the tongue of a panther, the fist of a fox.

The juice of wild poppies drunk as anesthetic.

There are days when I can’t get out of bed.

Languor and legs weaving anamnesis and appetite.

Days when I can’t get wet, afraid of water.

So much is decided by the timbre of the sky,

by the particles afloat in my blood.

Somniloquy and the distillation of rose water.

The tongue extends itself to lilt on one’s own nipple.

Blessed by the visitation of pigeons on the lintel.

My hands tying together white sheets to make a ladder.

My hands unraveling the twine of a torn kite to the sky.

Found In Volume 38, No. 03
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Joanne Dominique Dwyer
About the Author

Joanne Dominique Dwyer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a 2008 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Foundation Award.