Leaves, Blades, Cupboards (I)


Show me your bones.

Tell me what they would say

if they could speak their reasons.

That is your smile hand-sewn over pursed lips

(in time the stitches have disappeared).

All but a card trick—sleight of a poised hand.

I understand this well, all show and no tell—

the body a floor plan of pain.




Self Sculpture In Bone


In the pages of journals

I am nothing.

Could this be why

I am carving a sculpture of just

that with my body?

Chiseling away

contours and comfort

for a form that doesn’t feel.


At the window, I imagine

being under the snow’s blanket,

kept—by its cold and quiet.

Eyes closed, ears filling up with snow

until the volume turns down to silent.


An infinity of negations

says my brain,

reads a script of besetting words.

My mouth is wooden—controlled—

like a nutcracker. It goes open and shut.

Open and shut.


My mouth is wooden, controlled like a nutcracker.

It goes open and shut. Open and shut. My mouth is wooden

controlled like a nutcracker it goes open and shut open and shut Mymouthiswoodencontrolledlikeanutcrackeritgoesopenandshutopenandshut




Leaves, Blades, Cupboards (II)


In my gold-leaf cabinet you expect

a collection of books

though it’s strewn with doll heads

of every kind.

Their glass eyes

surprise you—a small drop of beauty

in their eerie orbs.


Placed carefully, sorrow can’t hurt you.

Kept neat, it looks a lot like art.






Adrianna Robertson received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently working with Cynthia Cruz on two poetry anthology projects and some of her poems are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry. She teaches at The Ursuline School and she lives in Connecticut with her family.