Sophie Segura

Two Uses For Young Rabbit & Minor Evolutions

Sophie Segura

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Two Uses for Young Rabbit

Inspired by the case of Mary Toft (c. 1703–1763), the rabbit breeder of Godalming.

She could conjure rabbits from between her legs,

little dead things, leaping in her till the last.

Pliny tells us they were delicacies,

plucked from insides or from teat, left uneviscerated.

A bunny-pilfering husband kept her cervix fed

with neonatal morsels from the butcher’s block.

On fast days medieval monks consumed their flesh,

deemed fish by virtue of the amniotic sac.

Monstrosities from women’s wombs: the sooterkin,

Alcippa’s elephant—maternal imprinting made manifest.

The recipes call for cinnamon, sweet wine and capon

as per Rumpolt’s gastronomic treatise.

Autonomy’s a slippery thing, its Queen Anne’s Lace,

its pudding grass and crochet hook,

its hands of Chamberlen, its bold-with-blade

and elbows deep in women’s work. 

Minor Evolutions 

There must be pockets in the outfit,

hands suddenly like tools received

for Father’s Day—still shop-sharp

in the shed, dangling aimlessly.

Accustomed to being held

at a forty-five degree angle

and the tingle of their wheeled extension

rumbling mole-like over asphalt,

pavement, artificial marble

of the local mall—our three-mile loop

past window after window

as you battle sleep.

The prick of milk, the twitch

of phantom umbrella-folding limb.

Like learning to walk propless, upright,

a minor evolution.

Sophie Segura

Sophie Segura was born in Dublin and now lives in Buenos Aires, where she worked for a period as a magazine sub-editor. She has poetry forthcoming in Irisi Magazine and has also written (as Sophie Parker) for The Irish Times, Time Out and the Buenos Aires Herald