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Red Paint

/allison bird treacy

Woman Problems

Inside my mother, an orange appears, then another. Ovaries inside ovaries, each seed roots in fog, sprouts a mouth.

By the time her body returns to ground her labia open stigmata. Caves for long-toothed nutria, hall full of shrikes. A puzzled obstetrician plays Thomas, puts a finger through the wound.

Ghazal Imagining Other Days

The news says we’re dreaming stranger in these days when we cannot leave the house. The result of disease: days

bleed into nights, conjure metal studded skies. Nerves constellate a wedding scene, a kitchen, pierced yellow yolks tease days

when the snows stop & masks come off. Mardi Gras feathers the streets with beads. Birds call parades trapeze days,

turn tricks, turn water to wine & bedeck their nests. Then turn the world a half orbit, alight six months later. Sing of Pleiades,

their looped return, knotted thread that stitched stories into coats. Lamplit handlers who turn the nights to bees’ days,

busy at their work. Where I could not wield a pen, then needles passed this way, hidden in a chemise (days)

or at night the dead skin of a hand. Be your own thimble, wound yourself softly. Only later tweeze days’

golden thread from a palm, name yourself Rumpelstiltskin. Your first born, given over now, guarantees your place on the dais

an uncursed life. If only! Infertile, you yield just sparrows, loosed & shrieking into your open parentheses for days,

cries waiting for the end. Fold your hands, now. O, St. Alice pray for us. We, mouth-blind & breath-broken, in these final days.

Allison Bird Treacy is a poet and literary critic whose writing grapples with issues of disabled embodiment and history, ecology, and the entanglement of both in myth and faith. A Sunday School Director in the metro Boston area, Bird’s work has appeared in Cider Press Review, Pilgrimage, Room, and Pleiades, among others. She lives with her wife and too many cats, and is constantly pursuing new kitchen projects.


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