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The trouble is,
everything calls to me.
The peacock with the red eye
glares her knowing. The red fletch
of the sandhill crane rises
like a flag in an unknown field.
The hummingbird grows large,
dances emerald infinity.
The wolf pursues the bear,
splits the shadow of pine and flashes
yellow teeth—and I do not turn away,
pursued by my own violent
I dream of oceans and sink
to their center, into perfect squares
of coral reef. I become an oyster at work
on a precious secret. When I surface,
I gleam.
I could make the horizon pulse,
with just the turn of my head.
I wake up with other languages
in my mouth: acer negundo,
acer negundo.

With strange collaborations
in my throat: magpied fields,
magpied fields.

And I swallow every one.
Do not wake up next to me,
whispering: Too much,
too much.

Never say it is too much.
Tell me it is only human—
to wish for someone to believe
in the myth of you.

Emily Stoddard's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust+Moth, The Manifest-Station, Cold Mountain Review, Menacing Hedge, Hermeneutic Chaos, and elsewhere. She is an affiliate of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method and the founder of Voice & Vessel, a writing studio. More at www.emilystoddard.com