by Kim Addonizio

Little beautiful abused,
            cinder scrap caught
                          in the updraft—

Needle thief,
            She Who Ironed Her Forearm Black,
                          bone-bare (healed now—

nearly). Lovely
            girl burning in a glass,
                          wick in a lake

that whitens
            opaque, blade-scored.
                          Blued and grieving

you keep moving.
            Every time I open
                          the box you gave me,

the little ballerina—
            glittering, indifferent,
                          the size of a bullet—

            She stands, poised.
                          If I turn the key

she’ll turn.
            Trapped on her stage
                          with that killing music.

First published in Harvard Review 37

Published on April 9, 2010