The Body Servant Tends Jin Lien  

A girl is no gift. Perfection
is small. Prune
what cannot be adored.

A man wants a virgin
with a thumb-sized step.

On nights when you are sick
with pain, I will carry you
to the slaughter
yard and place your feet
inside a lamb, by the heart
and lungs, the heat
of his fresh death.

The world knows you by
your slippers. The bloodline
in the lacings. The gold
of discipline is paid when

your insteps crack
like a teacup,
a light going out
in each ankle.

Vera Kroms |The Pears of Budapest|Red Mountain Press 2020