Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 Poetry |

Women Who Sleep on Stones

Women who sleep on stones are like brick houses that squat alone in cornfields. They look weatherworn, solid, dusty, torn screens sloughing from the window frames. But at dusk a second-story light is always burning. Used to be I loved nothing more than spreading my blanket on high granite ledges that collect good water in their hollows. Stars came close without the trees staring and rustling like damp underthings. But doesn't the body foil what it loves best? Now my hips creak and their blades are tender. I can't rest on my back for fear of exposing my gut to night creatures who might come along and rip it open with a beak or hoof. And if I sleep on my belly, pinning it down, my breasts start puling like baby pigs trapped under the slab of their torpid mother. So the dark passes as I shift from side to side to side, the blood pooling just above the bone. Women who sleep on stones don't sleep. They see the stars moving, the sunrise, the gnats rising like a hairnet lif

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Lucia Perillo’s sixth book of poems, On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (Copper Canyon 2012) was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award and received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award.

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By Lucia Perillo

Women who sleep on stones are like brick houses that squat alone in cornfields. They look weatherworn, solid, dusty, torn screens sloughing from the window frames. But at dusk a […]

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