Here, Body,

I am sorry for the clothes

in which I marveled at your dragged form


for the first time, borrowed unbeknownst, from the body

that would come to burrow her kneaded fingers into your—skin,


an open wound in which nothing pretty stays on

long enough. Our queer, quiet as the bones


I place on our tongue. Body, I want to give

back to you our mother, when she said she hopes


I can get to before—and I can only bring you

to tell her there is no before


to remember. I swallow your hands

as a rat snake to keep their shaking


in, and fold them from the pyre’s shadow

of her flesh. Here, body, I am sorry for the ash,

and how I have tried to return to it through you.



Peter Mason is a poet from Rochester, New York. He received a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia in 2014. He is the founder of |tap| literary magazine. His poetry has been nominated for the 2014 and the 2015 Best of the Net Anthology and has appeared in Vinyl, Muzzle Magazine, Spry Literary Journal, Rust+Moth, Red Paint Hill, and elsewhere.