1612 c/o Amelia Foster

Alice Lights the First Match to the
Admiration of All Beholders

I was weaned on moonmilk pap. Mother
buried my caul with bloodmeal in the yard.
My hair, a shock of coarse, black rice.
My skin, diffuse like light in water,
a moth against the glass.

In the light I am quick and quickened.
I said the Lord could come and get me
if He wanted me so bad. My breath hemmed
the window shut, a lace of tined frost.

With a mouthful of spitting seeds, I was
invited to tea on the riverbed. They prayed
I’d sink like teeth in sweetmeats, tossed
me in the water. A hawk plucked me right out.