Author: Devon Miller-Duggan

Somewhere in the background, there are always mountains,
And a wild-haired dark daughter running
Up and down the tanned, cracked slopes
Crying for herself
While her father wonders which is worse:
The daughter in your arms
Or the daughter on the mountain.

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Devon Miller-Duggan’s Pinning the Bird to the Wall is available from Tres Chicas Books.

for Penelope Necowitz

All day weaving
In the sight of a roomful of men
Who spend all day strutting
In the sight of each other,
Puffing their chests,
Grabbing the stubby handles of their swords,
Glowering, boasting, whispering,
Eating all day,
Proposing all morning,
Revising their proposals all afternoon.
All day weaving, ordering another sheep killed,
Weaving, ordering more bread baked,
Weaving, ordering more fish caught,
Weaving, praying that the warp will hold
Another day of weft thrust in and out.
No one of all these men has seen
The pattern on the loom change day
By day, noticed that the fabric’s
Open one day, full of light and air,
And woven close and thick the next.
At night, when they’re all snoring
On their swords, I undo it all—
Unwind the finished cloth,
Unknot the warp,
Unravel all the weft,
And wind it all back up again.
Unlike the things we birth and love,
My cloth stays in my hands,
Until I know each slub and fray.
Unraveling each night,
My yarn falls back to me.

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Devon Miller-Duggan’s Pinning the Bird to the Wall is available from Tres Chicas Books.

Ophelia in the water aware
Only of the stroke and slide
Of cold beneath her frock and
Ornate petticoats, of how it
Offers solace to the bruises
On her arms and heart and thighs.
Otherwise, the snagging weeds that
Occupy her lagging hair curl by curl,
Over and under both her legs, rooting
Out from the muck below, might not have
Owned her quite so easily, and her
Orisons might have broken melody to shout
Out loudly for her Nominalist
Older brother’s help in time,
Or her Realist lover’s absent hands to do the
Obvious, just this
Once and save some human
One time in his ontology-
Obsessed life, before the water
Obliged her to change from myth to myth.

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Devon Miller-Duggan’s Pinning the Bird to the Wall is available from Tres Chicas Books.