The Physical Plant As Prologue
Everything here measures: weight, effort, sin—
by Claudia Emerson
and everything costs in this seclusion
of daughters, the place an ark—its hold
all of a kind in an archaic, combed
order: straightened teeth, trained spines, the chapel's
benches in rigid rows before crimson
kneeling pillows, slim beds in dormitories,
the muted ticking of practice rooms, the stalls
just-mucked, the halls humid with breathing.
And in the brushes, their hair—enough to line
the nests of a hundred generations of birds.