WHAT WILL WE DO WITH YOU? THIS BONE HAS ALMOST NO FLESH PROTECTING IT…
by Shaindel Beers
But I am like any porcelain doll, waiting to be destroyed
by a hammer. Brothers do these things
to incite the cries of their sisters. They think
This is power. Someday they will learn that power
is smiling gleefully up at the anvil. Where I am from,
everyone looks like a corpse. We are ivory
and blue-veined until cooled at 0◦ for 28-32 minutes.
Then we begin to color up—cheeks become pink,
eyes, a teary blue, lips, a red slash,
sometimes painted crooked by a drunken artist.
Because, as Linus Torvalds said, “there is nothing to
do at home but drink.” Where I want to take you
the mountain passes are cleared in July—
until it snows at the end of August and some years
Hidden Lake is always under snow, but I
will climb until I find it. Though you seem
to be made of sand and fashioned for warmth,
I will lock you in a cabinet—porcelain dolls are
dangerous like this sometimes. You and I are not
so different, the same color when the sun shines
through the khaki sheets. But this sun is too much.
Even the sheets can’t stop it—It is scarier than
the hammer. This sun, even in the morning,
in February, is going to obliterate us all.
Shaindel Beers’ poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is currently an instructor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, in Eastern Oregon’s high desert and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary (www.contrarymagazine.com). The above poem is used by permission of the author and is from her recently released book A Brief History of Time.