From "Daybook"

Melissa Dickey



For the first two years I didn’t tell her that I loved her. As if saying it made it a thing to be questioned, evaluated, & to say nothing was better.


(They put the needle in her spine the day she was born.)




Closed my skirt with a butterfly pin, hung shoes on the clothesline. Lemon tree. Mortar, brick. Light comes bright through the window, and in the photo the goat’s teats dangle, bell collar around the neck. Why does pregnancy look so pathetic – and this man is a tree the way he stands. Basil growing from dusty ground. The wall that seems to ripple, bulge. How much am I censored, how much predetermined. What kind of what is hanging, how.




“I want to make sure [her husband] approves,” the o.b. said, as she stitched.




Bled through to my thighs. Lucky it didn’t get my pants. Slowly, we pull life down to us. A clear piece of plastic trash floats to the square. The cathedral bells play “The Saints,” meaning the team, not the angels. Don’t count the sheep, or else they won’t thrive. He says that sometimes I roam through morning. We are not who we think we are, it’s clearer all the time. A wild time to feel like you’re floating.




Melissa Dickey is the author of The Lily Will (Rescue Press, 2011) and has published poems in Propeller Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review, and elsewhere.



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