Michelle Y. Burke
DELICATE*In 1916 Helen Keller and Peter Fagan were briefly, and secretly, engaged.
Fear unfurls in her throat
And heat curls her hair
Mother hates the smell
You've ripped your dress again,
* * *
SHOW HORSEIn 1909, doctors removed Helen Keller's eyes and replaced them with glass eyes tinted blue.
Convenient how the horse is born with a gap
suited for riding. Would you take it back now—
Did floorboards quake as you paced backstage?
head-on. More speaking engagements, fundraisers.
over fleshy throats, the hot flash of the camera.
is a capitalist ploy, and all the do-gooders applauded.
They still amount to nothing.
*Both poems originally appear in Something Close to Beautiful (Inglis House Poetry Workshop, 2005) and appear in Burke's chapbook Horse Loquela.