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Morning Instructions for the Doctor’s Wife

Accept the window

that gives you glass, the dawn

that gives you the maple branch

with a single bud, meadowlarks

singing where you can’t see them.

Keep your black nightgown on,

more night than gown.

Wolves in the wallpaper.

Read an article about a man

who coughed blood. If you don’t learn

who lives next door to you, you

can leave the curtains open

all the time. Only at certain times

can a body be sexual. The doe

that meets your gaze in the meadow

isn’t sexual. When surgeons split

the coughing man’s chest with a saw

and then his lung with a scalpel,

his body wasn’t sexual.

At night the moon pulls

leaf buds out of the branch with silver

instruments. If you don’t learn

how many bodies the doctor

places his fingers into

in a single day, yours will always

be the only. Inside

the coughing man’s lung, the surgeons

found a fir tree. The dark interior

of a lung or a leaf bud, imagined

long enough, becomes a wilderness.

Your mind can do this

in the morning when you don’t have

a body. Wilderness isn’t paradise.

from O’NightsFind more by Cecily Parks at the library

Copyright © 2015 Cecily Parks
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Cecily Parks 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.