Poet of the Week: Rachel Nelson

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You want to be the sort of woman
who steps out of her boots
and slides her leg into the dark water without stutter.

You want your own beauty
boxed and delivered,
a thing you have to hold to believe.

The bodies of women
unfold from behind their shirts,
clothes nodding over the limbs of trees.

You want to lean into the lake of melted snow,
its dark surface marbled rosy.

You think this is beauty: to glide
when the ground is sharp
with stones.

Here is April cracked open for you:
The shivering and shrieking women call,
voices like beautiful fishing line unspooling.

You tell me you’re plainly yourself,
no artifice or costume, as you slide
your glasses into the sole of a shoe.

How could you use anything more
as a disguise? Not unfolded yet, you
want to be made of feathers,
like a duck, dark and slick.


Published by Little Patuxent Review

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