Karen Hildebrand: The Dig (Puberty)

Deep in my mother’s bureau
drawer, I find a jewelry box
brimming with colored beads
like the floaters that bob between
swim lanes at the pool
and rope my arms and throat
with turquoise lime popsicle
pink. I help myself to a vast
brassiere, cups like Bedouin
tents in the Sahara, squint
at the mirror: shabby girdle
garters like dog teats flapping
my thighs, balled up socks
for boobs, maidenly cotton
briefs, rust in the crotch
as if tattooed with a ghost
of fertility; thirsty leaf cutting
in a jar waving its pale feeder
roots; baby goat swallowing
even the plastic bucket.

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