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absent in the archive

M. Mick Powell


by what names did we know the mortal femme

before Her maiming? what accessory did She hang

from

her

neck?


what manmade material

replaced Her broken teeth?

& what bedazzler

bedazzled Her oldest dress—

remade what could not be unworn,

unwore what could not be remade ?

what did the mortal femme do

in the bellies of grief? did She braid hair

did She bring food

did She summon the archaic ache

did She touch the blue scar in the bath water

did She sing

did She scream

did She spit back the shotgunned smoke

did She watch her daughter disappear

did She watch them disappear her daughter

did She carry Her casket through the kingdom

did She plant dahlias in the memorial garden

did She curse the graves of mortal men who made carnival

in the hour of Her suffering, who put pieces of Her bruised

body up to the light and said: this is mine?

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