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The Paper Doll Fetus Speaks to the Viable Twin in Utero

Days, a week, or two weeks passed before I discerned I was dying

and the things which were to be my eyes shriveled up like pricked balloons.

It is always night in here. I cannot know if it is you, though something

is wringing out my heart (what was to be my heart) my tongue my skin

is being ground to a pulp. There was not enough time to rehearse a graceful pose

before I was wedged against the wall. I am splayed like a weather vane.

Your head is enormous. When did it happen that I am no bigger than your footprint?

I am becoming a scrap of parchment on which is scrawled my flattened waxy face.

Unfold me. You will find a tiny skeleton stirred into the paper. I am a letter

to you, and it says if you held me up to the wind I would flutter away. At times

in the future you will feel that something has been lost but you will not remember

what it is. No one understands why this is happening. Look at me, you know me

better than anyone. I am not angry.

from Paper Doll FetusFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2014
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Cynthia Marie Hoffman 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.

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