Poem in Which the Girl Has No Door on Her Mouth

The girl in the bathroom,
her words are waiting
the way pips are suspended in the throat of an apple.

She spits into the sink.
Who is this girl. Where is this bathroom.
She throws something into the bin from a distance –
she very rarely misses.

Her heartbeat vibrates little waves through the bathwater.
She is an island, after all.
The sound of her blood in her ears is a fuzzy,
high-pitched sound.

A voice from the next room calls out
come here.
Whose voice is this.
What do they want from her.

There is a pain between her shoulder blades.
It is a central pain, where wings would sprout from.

When she closes her eyes
she is in a room of girls in identical clothes
refusing to dissect cow hearts –
their purpleness, their unromantic shapes.

It is a hot, bright day
and the smell of blood fills the air, or seems to.

Underwater she is rehearsing
once again
the moment she will pour forth words, which will be arrows,
which lodge in the thigh of a warrior,

who looks at them but doesn’t feel pain.
The brain tells the body a lie. The brain
tells the eyes a lie.

The heart continues to beat
after it is removed from the body
like a mouth failing over and over again to find words.

Rebecca Perry

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