how to repair a vein / good girl genesis 

the grandmother comes
to help my root cellar. eats a staircase.
uses her nose to cut walls
like a shark fin. what do you know
about heredity? about what is 
slide from bone to bone &
from blood to blood? she drums 
her long fingers on the window
to signal she wants to be let in.
i close my eyes. we must never
see the grandmother lest all our genes 
come undone. i'm already 
unraveling enough. leave a thimble
on the porch. collect
stray strings for her workings.
i dream of a grandmother gift--
that one day she'll find favor with me
& leave me a new door i can sneak
into summer with. warm knob.
on the other side of a fire
i'll be a girl again. 
in my teeth i'll clutch a wrench.
spend all night mending a vein.
how am i supposed to be 
a child still with all this glass?
i cut my feet every day on 
the sharp edges of my desires.
a tree grows from the sink 
& spits pollen into the air.
rain washes the windows over & over
to some unknown end. 
an adult tooth falls out 
& i flush it down the toilet
so that the grandmother 
doesn't see i'm deteriorating. 
she does her puzzles on the ceiling:
picture of a mid-day park. picture
of a baby's hand. i say a prayer
to her-- tell her i'm trying
very hard. i knit my own vessels.
i drink only water blessed 
by a planet. still i am sinking 
in the floor boards. 
she braids my hair while i sleep. 
a rope to clutch. a trap door 
into my skull where the rivers 
do nothing but weave. 
i talk to the grandmother,
i say "will you tell me a story
about when you were 
only a sliver?" 

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