“Pronouns For My Sister” by Rachelle Taylor

Rachelle Taylor

We—the plural “we”—we wonder
what God was thinking, when He made it
so that we don’t feel the cut until we see it,
open, black, and emptying our entire volume of blood on the ground.
How our conjoinment ends, that is another question altogether.
The surgeon—God the surgeon,
or Gautama Buddha, if you prefer, the surgeon Vishnu—
the surgeon removed the flesh and put in a seam,
cross-cross-stitching our names into our sides
lest our most vital organs fall out.
Our bodies do not move as easily now,
but we don’t look down to see the wound.
We—awkward mannequins we—move toward foreign cities,
we—dry, bloodless we—ache and mumble pleas for morphine,
we—fumbling seamstresses we—sew new lines
between tissues that have been cut in half.
I—the singular I, the I without—I will not look at the scar
where you used to live.


Rachelle Taylor is a grad student of English literature, a painter, and the adopted caretaker of two growing turtles in Southwest Virginia. In 2007 she placed first in the Nan Lacy Poetry Chapbook Competition, and in April of 2008 she won the Thomas Coleman Creative Writing Award for Poetry. Among her non-academic interests are the works of Flannery O’Connor, pomegranates, and taking random pictures of animals foraging by the roadside. Her work has previously appeared in Exit 109 and The Blotter.

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