1)           a small cabinet, glass-fronted, in which are twigs, like branches, like thickets, and beyond them are stars in a night sky, vaguely discernable. the cabinet is locked, the key on the table in front of it. this is given a name that evokes childhood dreams, long forgotten.

2)           another cabinet, this bigger, solid-doored, though open. inside, a dummy. in his trousers a hard-on, in his head another cabinet. title: solipsism.

3)           a third cabinet, pane of glass in the door. inside, twigs, like braches, like thickets. on the floor of the cabinet, visible behind the twigs, are doll-sized shoes. the key is in the lock, the cabinet door is ajar. this one needs no name.

4)           a mannequin’s head, male, sectioned. inside, a screen on which is projected a blinking eye. across from him, a female dummy, naked, empty-headed. on her body is projected the same eye. note how distorted the eye appears on her curves. this is love, dummy.

5)           stretch of black-blue velvet dotted with milk-teeth purchased for a quarter each. it will reveal to each person either melancholy beauty or menace. a person viewing it will either feel nostalgia or deep foreboding. title will be a more or less obscure literary reference, though one that sounds familiar to everybody: once more the stars.

6)           a great sheet of formica, eight feet by eight feet, raised on a pedestal roughly hip-level, white. in the center, a miniscule house. if one can get an eye to it, past the formica, she will see, in a mirror, her own eye gleaming back. this one will be called grief.

7)           a seated female mannequin. on her lap, obscuring her torso and head, a large painting of the torso and head of a woman. the face has been rubbed out. moving around the object, one will see that the mannequin’s face is joined to the back of the painting, all features buried in the backing. the viewer may wonder if the face has been melted off or cut. the object will whisper a word no one can hear.



With the object
on her knee, the needle
between two fingers, she makes a

beautiful perforation, she
hears glimpses halting steps, the winding-

the ass struck sentient
beyond the door.
Outside, there are

narrow, better things.


Hardly time to think.
Two winding-sheets for one infant,
two mouths for one tongue.

Frightening though it is,
it must be handled.


What better time? The clock
slowed grievously can tell/
remember when and where

and how.


A few more objects:
thimble, tin of powder, dis-
embodied lace,

cracked spoon, cracked cup,
cracked face. All memory is

pardon the pun.


Behind the curtain, a window,
and behind that?







apocryphaltext Vol. 3

Rebecca Cross lives and teaches in New England. Her work has recently appeared in elimae and The Abacot Journal.


2 poems by rebecca cross