from Case Fbdy.

Infant aged eighteen months


That the baby survived two
previous rough prolonged
is remarkable. Quick descent
of girlhood, something bright
before you know it. Mischance.
Possible fingersweep. First
inarticulate wails, thin hints.
Sickly for which blame the high
rate of women. Common
lot. Have another. Usually such
work is fatal. Make your
own, a daughter this
time, a grayish patch.



Child aged seven years


and of various durations of sojourn.
The country she’s going to girl in
no traveler’s country, no
return. Stringy hair measures
the pillow. Obedience dangles,
winces. The pitcher mouth
lipped, inviting, beaded. Peroral
bronchoscopic removal.
Cure. No questions asked.



Child aged eight years


Early appearance. Concern. As
she reacts. Less than that
of trauma to inspire
local and mild character, to
watch the littler ones. A sampler,
accumulation of matter. Occupations
open and close to her like old
and new wounds. Little thin
chest, little cavity. Pins
in her bored mouth. Then
she laughed, or spoke.



Girl aged eight years


Old enough to swallow herself
girls seem to be prone
with heads downward. Attention
transfixes across the lumen
her obligations. Chores.
Like on Little House
on the Prairie Sundays
no work as possible
as folded stillness.
Staring. Aged. Enough.
Cure. Inhale one every
year for the rest of your
life. See how you’ve grown.



Child aged twelve years


By this time home is where
a girl is pinned. Metal
affinity. Cross when she’s leaky.
Comparisons of 1, 2, 4, 7, 8
and 9 are interesting as they show
the pathologic — that
is, becoming — of similar female
bodies bound round. Shawled. Burden
bent under, not once, but again.



Woman aged sixty-three years


All expectoration ceases after a few weeks.
The life that led her over
which surgeons leaned like
angels. Chamber of horrors, of
life past the change
they describe from outside.
Years of one branch leading to
another lobe — felt the sun hot on
her wool shoulders and drew
breath. For a stopped instant. What
passed between inhalation
and exhalation but years? Like
walls. Sheared off. Stopped
watching. Run down: what else
was likely to occur
to her? Because the ether,
the air is local, it brings
out other voices, theirs.

Kate Schapira (© 2007)