One doll turned in place to the imagined song
of a music box. One sat at a miniature table
mouthing daintily at her ceramic meal. The last
stood motionless by the dollhouse door, jointed limbs
stiffly poised. Each a perfect porcelain Goldilocks.
The dollmaker’s voice was bear growl
through the empty window frames. The dollmother
picked apart elbows, pried painted glass eyes
from their sockets, stuffed bellies with cotton.
She posed the dolls on metal stands.
At night she swallowed her own eyes, stopped
up her ears with tallow and hid from their seeking.
The three dolls drew their floral curtains
tight and sucked at bonbons. The dollhouse filled
with the stretch of hollow mouths, the weighted blink
of horsehair eyelashes. Each morning the dollmaker
stripped them to see if they were bleeding yet.