Two Poems by Carol Berg

Red Again

My ovaries are percolating.

Someone has set a small fire underneath

them and now they’re bubbling

slowly, little pops of red pain in my lower back.

I’d like to take my ovaries out for just the day,

plop them in a colander in my kitchen sink

(its stained anyways) and rinse the red out.

I’d drain away their tensions, and mine,

rinse those irritations away, like grit, if the water

in the sink was cool enough. I would lay

my ovaries in a Japanese ceramic sky blue bowl, carry

those pulsing pale stars outside, hold them up high

and let this morning’s light rain wash over them,

small drops falling to the loamy March

earth. The rain tapping my nestled ovaries,

until they were plump and red again, gently juicy.

Cinderella in a Different Dress

Think stitch. Interstice or interstellar?

Think orbit, a shadow-rise of darkest gossamer.

She arises naked from white flannel sheets.

Think of her body as quadrants. Think elongation.

(Now your mouth humming all glottal stops and fricatives.)

Shall we slip her breasts in a corset of wild mint? Fringed gentian? Asters?

Or did you say all the stars. Drape Andromeda across her arms,

cover her triangle in Triangulum, cover her legs in the Corvus

Constellation. Perhaps she prefers a featherings of leaves? Hands

gloved in speckled Alder. Slippers sewn from apple blossoms.

A dress embroidered in butterfly wings, with a swallowtail clipped

at her throat. Should we know where it is she is going—

Soaring along the Euphrates River? Ascending the Sahara sand dunes?

Ballooning over Banff? What does it matter? The castle door is opening.

The night air is waiting. The men have fled before her shimmer.

And all the unfettered women are chanting fly fly fly.

Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in Crab Creek Review (Poetry Finalist, 2017), DMQ Review, Sou’wester, The Journal, Spillway, Redactions, Radar Poetry, Verse Wisconsin. Her most recent chapbook, “The Johnson Girls” is available from dancing girl press. She was a recipient of a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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