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Invention of the Bride

At dusk words float,

Blue-fingered, without weight

In a world gone fragrant

As a gold egg cradling rose-pink yolk.

Timid at first, stilled like deer at a lake,

Now they gather to me, who pretends sleep,

Covering my face with their hands.

In the memory palace, the dead

Take short breaths.

Shamans breathe a name for who I am.

Shamans litany me into being.

I open my cold eyes, my throat.

I enter the bath, let the waters

Close over me like a gem,

Then reach for my anklet,

My red bolt of silk.

The sun rises.

From the mysterious generosity of a mother,

The sun rises.

—This time I will not be false, this time, I will be

Clear from all falsehood like a snake from its last season’s skin.

from You Darling Thing Find more by Monica Ferrell at the library

Copyright © 2018 Monica Ferrell
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Monica Ferrell Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.