Ring Fingers


Today I woke up and found that both my
Ring fingers were missing.
The last time this happened,
I found one of them in my vagina,
The other had been chewed by the cat.

Today, however, they were nowhere
To be found. Perhaps they were gone,
For good. Looking for another woman’s
Palms. Or they had simply shrunk
From disuse, retreated back
Into my body, transformed into
Blood cells and bone marrow.

I have not told you about this
Yet; lest you should be too happy
For the stay of Engagement.
But perhaps there is no reason
To tell you at all: you have already
Severed and swallowed them whole.


(First appeared in Filling Station 2006)

A Woman's Work