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Sarah Lilius

Milk Boy Carves a Glance From Glass

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Black cotton around knees, ankles, necks,
clothes he knows his mother will wash
after soiled with the names of the nameless

Honey trapped in the container waits
for scalding tea that is just quiet water
searching for something to happen

Hairs slight and blonde, tan freckles, counties
across the skin, he crosses the lines into new
territories, blood on the pavement

The girl’s barren memory, cross stitch without
threads, the sayings of Jesus never reach
the pillow, the tacky wall hanging

The girl’s his white drink, fluid in darkness,
a noose swings, the oval, never quite finds a head
to place through, child skull and neck, never tightens

Mothers become mothers become mothers

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Infants fall like wet diamonds
from between my legs.

Built foot up, strong bones,
I’m made for this, I squat

over the linoleum, a world
of what specks have seen.

Blood tap taps then pours
as a pitcher of milk I will serve

them, content faces
watch me, I know

they are reflections
on the surface of time,

of the red on the slick
floor where they fell.

I scoop firmly, babies
who haven’t cried yet

find blue in their passport
to this world, quiet entities.

Once they know to stay
is an option, naked wails

rattle barriers, sort
puzzles back in place.

The sound of sometimes
and forever jolt a moment

into being, I’m part
mother, part monster.

Patella People

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Please watch your step.
The bright sign slightly unhinged hangs to the left.

Tiny stairs are well worn from wooden feet.
The patella people wear human kneecaps as brave hats.

Protection from sun and rain. No need to comb hair.
Please mind your manners.

A grim fact that someone will lose a small bone today.
The humans bend knees without desire.

Never see the six-inch people coming with tiny saws.
Scissors and mini towels.

The masters cut with no reserve.
The shape, the curve, the fascination, the pain.

Patella people see you found their secrets. Lay down.
Please remain still.

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