Kristy Bowen on Poetry Daily today

Girls Against Boys

When she makes an o of her mouth,
the forsythia behind her head bursts into flame.
Singes clotheslines full of blue gingham
pinafores and yellow flowered sheets.
When she bends at the waist, she can make an o
of her body. A birdcall. A tiny pink sequin.
Can make up names for the baby teeth
beneath her dresser. Lydia. Amelia.
Their tiny lion tin. Can define the pinwheel
of her arms falling through dark.

The trellis by the steps slicks in the rain
and all night he calls for his extra rib,
his good heart's hinge. No one can sleep
with it. The world, all checked
cotton and charm bracelets by now.
Every verb imperfect.

Kristy Bowen
New Michigan Press