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Anjali Sachdeva reads Kiki Petrosino's poem "Self-Portrait".


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Hi, my name is Anjali Sachdeva.  The poem I'm doing today is called "Self-Portrait" by Kiki Petrosino from her book Witch Wife.  I picked this poem in part because I really love fairy tales and this poem has, to me, the feel of a fairy tale, or the beginning to a fairy tale.  It feels to me like a really powerful, magical invocation and the book is called Witch Wife and I always imagine it in sort of a witch's voice.  I have no idea if that's what Kiki intended, but I really enjoy hearing it that way in my head.


Little gal, who knit thee?
        Dost thou know who knit thee?
Gave thee milk & bid thee beg
Slid a purse between your legs
Stuffed thy brain with blooms of blight:
algae, wool.  You're lichen-white.
Gave to thee such vicious lungs
for breathing glitter past your wrongs--

        Little gal, I'll tell thee
        Little gal, I'll tell thee!
I, who cut your palms with glass
& poured in poison tasse by tasse 
I am nimble.  I am young.
I peeled you with a pair of tongs. 
I laughed when no one loved you back
& raked the mist to scarf your flesh.
We come together in the dirt.
I a rake & thou a twig;
            All day we watch the long pig dig.
            All day we watch the long pig dig.