I make a doll of you. I make a doll of me. I stuff us full of feathers, fingernails and fur. Stitching us up, I drop a dollop of blood in our trunks. I light a candle with a lock of your hair, sprinkle salt. I coat our poppets with oil and slip your little wooden hand up my woolen skirt. Pinch my tiny nipples with clothespins. I strike our sex parts together like flints and say, Anima Animus, this is how we truss, truss, truss. I wire our wrists, our knees, our navels, our tongues, our flirting shadows. I pierce your red wax heart with a bouquet of pins. I fasten the exact angle our last breaths intersect on the Table of Improbable Sums. I hobble you. I drive a nail through us both. Forgive me, beloved. If only I could keep you in a chair by my side, always forming a word,  Iíd refrain from cutting off your hands and stitching them in reverse. I know it hurts to bear your palms to the world. But thereís no better way to reach me when Iím burning on the other side.


Kristin Bock holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she teaches in the Business Communication Program. Her first collection, CLOISTERS, won Tupelo Pressís First Book Award and the da Vinci Eye Award.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Black Warrior Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, FENCE, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Salt Hill and VERSE. Poems also live in two anthologies: Apocalypse Now: Poetry and Prose for the End of Days, as well as The Museum of All Things Awesome and Go Boom, both by Upper Rubber Boot Press.