Turn your head
sideways & it looks like birds, fish,
just air. A nest of black gloves, fingers
curling toward the heart-come
here. Come here. Now. The threats
of childhood: belt, wooden spoon, daddy’s
fist. The same hand that brands
the skin removes
the splinter, cracks
eggs into omelets, the unformed
cluck wriggling out. The canal:
frozen water, stilled bridges. Nothing lifts
in winter. Snow swirls, scarves
wet from breath crystalize.
All has become so pointless yet
this isn’t true. Last time I dreamed
I dreamed of kindness & wet
hands. (My ex-husband.) All is full
of love & warmth & I am afraid
to lose it. And, if loss is inevitable,
then, it is here now. A body
floating toward shore. A missing sock
found in the oven.
When the dark holds
like a wet wool glove remind me
to tell myself to offer
protection. When tulips are open
for a friend’s hysterectomy.
For a friend’s circumcision.
For a friend for a friend for a friend.
I take away the first layer &
feed it to my dog. I skin
it, drape it over a fence & build
a fire. I debone the chest, remove
the heart. I chew on its feet
while looking up
at the stars. (I dream) my teeth fall out.
(I dream) my hair falls out. (I dream) I cannot
move. The heart (thumps)
in its walrus belly. The belly churns
in salty anguish. Gums bleed.
Teeth pull like tweezers
the hangnail. Simple things
we cannot let be simple, anymore.