I have kept my secrets. And been stuffed with them, as on the county's
goose day. I tell no one how at night you came to me and slipped your hand
between my ribs, how then I knew no heart was left beating
in my chest. And after, how another boy touched me and all at once my skin
had edges. I was that docile once. I loved you only with my girl-heart, the false
one that like a baby tooth lost its root and fell away. I know the irises
won't bloom this year. Here, the dead
stay dead. Once I trusted that when the time was right
you would teach me when and how to leave you. I see now
that in this matter, as in so many others, I have been forsaken.
Nancy Reddy's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-, Best New Poets 2011, Crab Orchard Review, Memorious, The Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is currently a doctoral student in composition and rhetoric.