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False Senses Deny What Is Rightly Mine

by Anna Ruiz

a samurai’s wife is a dead creature
she’s fallen on his sword, eviscerated
with her office

her geisha face wiped clean just before
the death mask is placed
carefully enough to be recognized
apple blossoms fall,

she is
gently carried down
poetic rivulets of blood

and the nightingale escapes
from cracked ribcages
songs women sing
in other lives

when feet were bound and mouths
were stained red with silence

this is not true today
a husband will always follow behind
her funeral procession

butterflies are free to land on any flower while poems
they still shoot horses, don’t they

in proper dancing
halls when swords are left behind
in foreign words

Copyright © 2010 by Anna Ruiz

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