I remember the first time
I was born— nicotine
took over my tongue.
All the while I only
thought of my sister’s China pots.
Feathers latched onto
those marbled infants: hollowed to last forever,
Calibrated to the illusion of the earth
she spun slowly.
I thought of her for it wasn’t
So hard—all you had to do was bathe the tea
all over the body.
Until you found that what
you’re holding up to your black eyes
Was a body of a saint.
You’d be surprised with
the many ways you can baptize a girl.
My lips hold up their
shape like a century she had imprisoned.