Lisa Smith

They do not know what to do with the egg because it has been turned into a real live egg. They approach it with a willingness to nurture its great white head until it becomes something else, a woman’s thigh or the eye’s white. Everything was archaic. Exactly as the egg thought it would be. The egg expected great things of itself. Like the Renaissance. We did not care what the egg did as long as it was happy and safe. The first time the egg spoke, it told the truth of eggs. “Why, if you have been searching for me so long, do you doubt that I am actually here?” We consoled the egg with our fingers, proving that we knew of its existence, of its capacities to feel the laying on of hands on an egg. “Why, if you have only thought your hands were extensions of your thinking can you speak and touch me at the same time without speaking only of how you will and are touching me?”

I have made the ground swell with seeds that become whole orchards. And in the swell came the goodness and fortitude of the people who ate of these hands the apple they had imagined. I have lain with your husband as you have, with my entire ear bent towards his love for you, pronouncing the very breath in the shape of my palms that he makes in saying your name. I have held that breath in its opening, a lung flower, which maintains your senses and your hope.