Articulation by Angie Macri


The pears moved according to the air’s lips
and then the plums, second to bloom
all wild and sweet. Without hands, what choice
did the air have but to use its mouth, breathe out
and in, so that the forest waved bare bones of wood
as it was too early for leaves. In a story,
a woman who’d lost her hands or arms
would try to raise a child and fail, or she would try
to eat a plum or pear by reaching into the tree
with her mouth. In both, her tongue formed
anything but questions, no point for them
since there was no one to answer
but the queen who took her hands, the god
and king who let her, and the air, which had lips
but no mind. So the woman said no, to the skin
of the fruit as she bit down, to the child who saw her
as a giant from the ground, to the queen and king
who counted their lucky stars that a curse
could be so easy as missing arms, and last
but not least, to the god, who walked in the garden
only in afternoon shade yet often grew tired.


Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther (Southeast Missouri State University), winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, and Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past (Finishing Line). Her recent work appears in The Journal, Quiddity, and The Southern Review. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs. Find her online at