Prime Numbers

One is the green stone that slipped
off her index finger as she sat
on the bench in the pallid afternoon

It fell over white gravel
and should have screamed, emerald
like a lizard, a frog, a tropical bird.
It did not.

Two is the scarlet skirt of plain
cotton, how it flares, giving access
how it lifts like a tent or
easily torn poppy petals. 

Nothing in between, no commas
no colons. Only rain wets the edge
of even and odd, sealing
unsealing lips. 

The vagina, contrary to what you thought
isn’t a hole or a doorway. It’s a diamond
shaped ring you wish you could wear
wish you’d never lose.


Toti O’BrienToti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. Born in Rome, living in Los Angeles, she is an artist, musician and dancer. She is the author of Other Maidens (BlazeVOX, 2020), An Alphabet of Birds (Moonrise Press, 2020), and In Her Terms (Cholla Needles Press, 2021).