nights you’d sleep at the foot of your father’s bed on a mattress you’d pray withstand the needle else it sigh paternally. your fingernails were softened with disease and you’d dream they were pillows. mornings your mother would watch as you’d go to the rim and she’d suck her thumb. mornings also your two brothers would call to your arms to go here or there after which you’d soak each arm as one in dishwater and try to pronounce crayon crayon crown of thorns.
visible the noonday moon you’d laze by pond and listen for the creak of your teeth pushing forward as if they’d been charged to oust from your speech the word deindividuation and you’d let it happen being so enamored of the tongue you’d press to the bottom of your mouth as if you could make of it a copy.
then orally corrupt you’d move to see a deer
but straight on a horse and so upright you’d jerk and send your sister into the acid of your stomach where drowned what loved you; her love of men and her later love of one man
who’d void sin and gender to widow you with forgiveness.
I bring with me the weakest part of a flower from a neighborhood we neither one called ours and I blow it now through a wire fence. some bring wilt, some pity. might we trade them for the layup so executed we were shown by the undecorated sport of your austerity
the aftermath of our own penitence.
The wreath, quick, I am dying!
Weave it quick now! Sing, and moan, sing!
Now the shadow is darkening my throat,
and January's light returns, a thousand and one times.
Between what needs me, and my needing you,
starry air, and a trembling tree.
A thickness of windflowers lifts
a whole year, with hidden groaning.
Take joy from the fresh landscape of my wound,
break out the reeds, and the delicate streams,
and taste the blood, split, on my thighs of sweetness.
But quick! So that joined together, and one,
time will find us ruined,
with bitten souls, and mouths bruised with love.