The Greenhouse

By Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Bull City Press
August 2014





         Microchimerism is the persistent presence of a few genetically distinct cells in
         an organism… cells containing the male Y chromosome were found circulating
         in the blood of women after pregnancy.


I want them out. I want
to be myself, my self
again. My old untethered,

young untied. I lie: I want 

nothing more—or want
no more the point.
Dendritic, en-

twined, signed on
for the duration. Bright
tangle, snaking line

of fire. The crucible

does not ask
for want. Is. Tied in,
shot through. Fired.





and I go 

down into it, the hall again
(streetlights, blinds)

all the same all the dark

down into it and do what must be done
with my body, with the patience
that I do not have

fellow sufferer, fellow sleeper, not-

sleeper, seeker

night boat, little sail

in the slow air in the rounded dark
inside the broken night

rudderless   elliptical

in the stitched-together minute



365 x night x 8                                     (new)

x 4
x 2
x 8 again                                              (despair, iron)
x 2

x 1, x occasional, x rarity                    (fever, monsters, light)

= now 

= again 







(When the giant sacrifices himself for the boy)
                                                                                 (and on the screen

the men marching toward him      all the pieces
                                                                                 falling from his metal body
steaming in the snow)

When the giant sacrifices himself for the boy, the boy

at my side is lifted for a moment,
                                                         filled with air, the intake, the stop-
gasp held aloft, no sound:
                                             the shock at the top of the arc, the drop— 

and only then, on the way down, opens into sob: hard water
wrung from a knot. All the pieces

Small hot forehead pressed to my chest. Animal exposed in the storm.

Knows himself then, knows himself to want more.