CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Two Poems
Alexandra Wilder


Sister Silence

I do remember the mouth
as a well-worn nursery rhyme,
a dusty adding machine.
During hurried and silent suppers,
we are glittering emeralds
hidden with a clean ragged cloth.
We draw the sun
in a loose silk blouse,
unfastened fur coats,
shoes sharp as lilies smell.
We write our names
in different hands and colors.
Our hero is smooth, wondrous, and absent.
Other worlds are not unattainable.







Sister Speak

I taught you how in my ruthless way
to hear, without looking,
to be truer than intended.
You watered plants
that had gone long without,
ignored dark sighs
from the library window.
We play a game.
When we say aloud
the word that destroys,
that’s when you slow
your old run-and-slump,
hitch high your skirt
like a bad apple in the hand.
We do our homework.
The saucer of spilled tea in the road
is to dirty bedding as a cut-off
ear is to a shined cent.
Together, we are better
than all the others.
Your underwater face
might well bend and wonder.