Ana C. H. Silva

After Max Ernst's Sacred Conversation

Woman on the Left

Having once been      split open
sliced open       with a bold knife
black thread passed through holes
              of my flesh
made by a blood slicked needle

not completely healed
            open   to the world
                        open   to love

a feeling of being un shut
       seamed but un whole
my scar tugs at itself when I stretch
my belly

I know there is danger
            who knows what will come out
slime   a broom   parts of insects   broken buttons

    feathers   dust
nothing — any more — as luscious
                                  as my children

steel circles my calves
when I pause    mid   step to think
maybe I am made of

just filaments  shadows interstices    
not flesh bone blood   and something called me


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Woman on the Right

Having once been sliced open
      —for mirror-twins, it turned out—

oneness, wholeness
are suspect

I believed in the soul right away
when I saw them

remarkably similar bodies
perfectly distinct energies

one of earth and fire

the other of air and water

and what is my other double?
I might be a bird

Don't be fooled by the smart black shoes that pinch my feet
or my conventional skirts

The space above my neck and shoulders
is just sky