Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Nora Hickey now lives in Albuquerque, NM. Her poetry has appeared in Court Green, The Massachusetts Review, Mid American Review, DIAGRAM, and other journals.
As a young girl, I guide a saw through soft stalks
my tender Maple, my glistening stump
As a young boy, I blot myself out with daddy’s books
a map of me on twenty-six
Our block grew ragged–the sag of unkempt
lawns. The soiled sounds of houses.
As a young girl I would listen
a swarm of flies inside
As a young boy I would watch
white story of the tongue
We confused the bleach and the vinegar:
the ants crawl in the ants crawl out the ants
As a young girl I hemmed and hawed.
As a young boy I shilly-shallied.
We thought there were tubers
inside! All white piles and kindness.
As a young boy I took out the trash
and watched it leak tears for me.
As a young girl I pressed my tongue to grass
–the doors in me disappeared.