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By Kim Roberts

Dittrick Medical History Center, Cleveland

Wheels, whisks, wishbones,
silhouette of a tiny pine.

Birds in flight and fiddlehead ferns.
The uterus is a magic place:

dark as a cave, it accommodates
any shape we insert:

circles and snakes, beetles
and bows, fossils and fleurs de lis.

Some are even shaped like a uterus
in miniature, amulets for warding off

miniatures of ourselves. Leaves
of a plastic ginko tree unfurl —

no end to our genius, its infinite contours.
On this scaffold we build

a barren language in plastic letters:
expandable O’s, flying V’s,

X’s like antlers, and a range
of two-handled T’s, eager to get to work.

Added: Monday, June 30, 2014  /  From "Animal Magnetism" (Pearl Editions, 2011). Used with permission.
Kim Roberts
Photo by Jon Gann.

Kim Roberts is the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). She co-edits the journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly and the web exhibit DC Writers’ Homes. Roberts has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, HumanitiesDC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has been a writer-in-residence at 18 artist colonies. Poems of hers have been featured in the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas Project, on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Project, and on podcasts sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more at Kim's website

Other poems by this author