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.



Return to LSR Return to Poetry


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.