<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| winter 2009

Kim Gek Lin Short



Toland said she was saving herself because she could not help thinking that when they have their baby she would find it in the kitchen bloody with her blood or bloody with knifeblood or bloody with the stenciled blood of everlasting sleep, which is why she stopped sleeping. Harlan told her to wrap her head in aluminum foil, but she must not have done it tightly enough, because there was still that voice of the baby bloody with clanging metal fingers the scratching scab of neglect. She wondered, Do you hear it? He did. Harlan wrapped his head in wet pleasure, but it did not work because there in the waves he saw the voice gurgling through. After that, Harlan saved himself. Once they were both saved, Harlan and Toland only saw the miracles. The bed twitching miracles. The skin swishing miracles. The pelvis squeaking miracles. They told everyone to listen.



The Miracles

“Experts say,” explained Harlan, standing Toland on her head, “that three out of four experts use this method.” Toland in atypical agreement maintained the very stiff posture for a very long time, until all the October pumpkins on the front porch began to turn into babies, and something, she said, must be done. Harlan carefully let go of her legs, and went outside to gather, if he could, all the babies into all his skinny arms. When he brought them inside Toland exclaimed, what miracles! and began one by one to wrap them in blankets. But soon Toland ran out of blankets, and Harlan sewed from her thin arm a beautiful white quilt. But it was not nearly enough. So Harlan searched the house. He searched in pipes and recessed lighting and then he searched Toland’s purse where he found the disk of pills, and he returned to the loud crying room. Toland saw the pink disk in Harlan’s hand, and she knew they did not need the blanket. They did not, in fact, need any of the blankets. One by one the babies began to disappear. Then the blankets. Then Toland’s arm once again assumed its limp place at her side.  


Kim Gek Lin Short's chapbook, The Residents, is new from dancing girl press.