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To trim away the shrapnel,
the surgeon sliced a sliver of her skull.
Now, when she lifts her hair
to show the shape, it's moony:
a figure-eight has flown
the convex bone, therewith
some beauty to inscribe:
blood forms rubies;
you eat the Host for food.
The beautiful girl says
she'll always be a soldier.
She'd had a two percent chance
of waking from the coma.
Someone has to be that
two percent
, she says
with a smile. Why not me?
—And, sackcloth or silk,
the husk did open. We decorate
her friends at the end of May.

Christina Pugh

Grains of the Voice
TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press

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