Making My World of Cut-Paper Dolls

     - after Popa and Simic

1. The Box

i have a little box
that is myself
with as many mirrors
making as many fractions of views
as possible — infinity —
infinitesimal —
with all its glass
edges exposed —

i have to be careful
not to cut things
as i examine
these infinite splits
of the world —
a naked light bulb hangs by a thread
in the center of the box —

2. Memory Makes the Box

practicing its scissor-clips
in the dark —
My Memory
taking its sleep-walking foot-steps —
picking and choosing
opening and closing the lids
of all the old boxes —
those boxes of dolls,
those cut-paper dolls —

3. Inside the Box: the Ballerina Box

In one little box
there is a ballerina
with pink toe shoes —
she spins
as a tune plays
until I shut the lid.

in my dreams,
she comes to me and confides
she wishes I'd keep
her lid shut, so she can hide
in the quiet, in the dark.

4. Inside the Box: the Live Mannequin

Here I am,
in the store window —
boxed in glass.
I'm still, and silent,
but if you look closely
you'll see my heart beating faintly
with the slight quiver
of the covering cloth:
my visual is loud, calling:
Here I am.

Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Twiddy Poems