Something Other Than Whole

Kristina McDonald

I.
In the picture, her feet are cut off and even now
I imagine her falling.

II.
Everything happens for a reason, says the wolf
with a dove in his claw. If it were up to me,
we would leave all our children in the woods with a blindfold
so they can learn how to really hunt.

III.
Hunger, too, has its benefits. Just look how skinny you are.
And when the men come to raid this village, keep in mind
that empty cupboards are a good place to hide.

IV.
If a broken bottle can still hold water,
it isn’t broken yet.

V.
These days I’m light enough to balance in a pail,
lower myself to the bottom of the wishing well.

VI.
Every night is a dream. Every morning
starts with the same vision: a sure-footed woman
dancing in the fountain, dropping apples
everyone will eat.