The Life's Framework
Remove one fact and a life becomes
lopsided. The tree outside drops
its figs. Upstairs a window slams
shut and the frame rattles. Everything
rattles like a flimsy frame.
The house’s skeleton.
Upstairs a door slams shut
and my skeleton shakes. I look
at my lopsided face in the mirror.
With the correct shade I can change
its shape, its structure. Like magic
there are cheekbones, a defined jaw.
Ta-da. An excavated memory.
A skeleton. What did I feel?
That stabbing pain and then
nothing. I poke at the edges
with my tongue. The structure’s
all there but buried. The true
shape of it. Revealed
with the right shade. A brush.
A steady hand. Outside
there are figs on the ground.
The ceiling light burns hot.
The light. The light. The stabbing
pain and then nothing. What is it?
I must have stood outside. I must
have plucked figs from the ground.
Remove one fact and a life loses
its structure. I can restructure
my skeleton. Give me a brush. Look.
Manuela Williams is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Witch (dancing girl press) and Ghost in Girl Costume (originally published as part of the 2017 Hard to Swallow Chapbook Contest). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Thimble Literary Magazine, The Mantle Poetry, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Bone Bouquet, and other places. She is a columnist for DIY MFA and is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Nevada, Reno.