Puberty Subjunctive

by Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner

The girl holds the snow in her naked hand
and when it is too much, it turns into a tulip
bulb she plants just where the dog is buried,
every night placing a new blanket she knits
from the hairs she plucks from her legs, under
her arms, from the long line of her eyebrows,
between them a valley she walks with the pointed
stick of the tweezer. And she is the earth,
and the earth is her. Each year, a blossom
should come snaking out of the mulch,
swanlike, thin necked, should undress
in the morning as a girl would, quietly, polite,
shed its petals back into the soil, into the night.
And she will capture this in time lapse video,
post it online where no one will know that she
has made this herself, fertilized with the ugliest
parts, the ones her father tells her cut
out, cut off, get rid of—and when she holds
her new breasts in her cupped palms,
maybe they’ll burn like a lightbulb:
her body is a filament. She can change
anything into anything.

Last updated September 19, 2022