Women’s Ways
by Danielle Burhop

There are women’s ways: The talking,
Words like pennies slipped out of tooth-gaps.
the Shush of fingernail filing, rounding
the claws to docile half-moons. The guile
of the used womb; a sly password, 
a niggling allowance.

The houses of hungry closets, doors
open like children’s arms, each filled
like love was for sale, looking
for a hanger to hug.

While tummies are flat, clothes
are belted to introduce ribcages.
Hair long enough to catch
a baby’s fist will feel that tug
until it shrinks to earlobe-length,
dry as broomstraw.

Closets starve and nails go mute;
belt holes gape at the belly’s demands.
But words still climb the throat
pendulums and swing, swing,
monkeys traipsing off arid lips.

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Danielle Burhop is an IAS undergraduate student at University of Washington, Bothell, and is an NSCC alumnus. She has been published previously in Exile and Twice-Bloomed Wistaria. She can be found traipsing around The Loft with bewildered ESL tutees, and posting snarky tidbits at www.everypoet.org.