Donna de la Perriere

The Beautiful South  
('you would have to have been born there')

we live 
in the village   
on this sharp street   
we live by the boneyard   
we die young    I have 
an ivory comb   I have a ghost 
house of rocks up the hill   
I have two dogs -- one large, 
one small   I have rows of scars   
(sometimes my hands go numb)   
I have an oval portrait of my mother
you see that she is dead   I was born 
too early   too late  (I have 
never had a lover)  almost 
everyone I know is dead   almost 
everyone I love
I have made them up   		(there are no people in my head)   
I have words I string 
together to make stick figures
I have ghosts    I keep 
their pictures in my house   I move 
them from place to place   
in the pictures they are all eyes
(I am living someone else's life)
I kept them up everywhere 
until I no longer could