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A Red-Haired Girl


At forty-one my mother had

no ovaries, no uterus, no teeth.

Her husband loved a red-haired girl.

This wombless woman

with fingernails like moth wings

raps nightly at my window whispering

"Look in the bathtub, you'll find

your mother's feet."


I murder her slack mouth,

her corn-encrusted feet;

I the nun at her haunt-bed

beseech a resurrection.

I tell her eyes on a rosary salty with use;

when she taps I plead gently,

"Everyone loves a red-haired girl."

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