When dolls start speaking to you from the nest stuffed deep
inside your own throat.
as worked by hand in the lace hem of a tiny dress;
Remember never to seat a Gypsy next to a mark,
and to preside with grace, charm, and engraved silver service.
Listen to this,
she'll say, from between the feathers of birds hooked by wires
to dying Christmas trees in burning houses.
Listen to this--don't be a ninny and ignore this warning
when she chirps in your ear like broken glass--
Baccarat or Waterford.
Girls love cats, horses, dolls,
and attics filled with bird cages and unexploded ordnance.
Listen to the water fountain my ghost animates the flow of,
and line up your darlings along the window sills.
Seat the priest with the diplomat,
Arabian with alley cat,
and remember this, as the afternoon wears on:
I owe no explanations as to what birds think about dolls that talk,
and the girls who take them to bed
like said prayers.