I can’t find your lips or eyes but I can trace the small, frozen stream of veins behind your jaw to
something bigger. Your head is cradled in chrysanthemum, a press-stud holding you in place.
Your collarbone is a caldera, a crossing, a rail bed. The blades of your body arch, the hollow of
your throat a clasp of tangled roots, and behind it all your shoulders dissolve into mountains.
You betray quickly back to the earth, the scream of a train deep in the distance. The tracks, a
small apology across the hills, heat with the memory of your body.
Your body is a tree reaching for water. There is a small, feminine hint of hair tangled like a
Strangler Fig at the base of your skull, or where your skull would be if you were whole, but
somehow I trust your emptiness is an extension of the river line. There is the shadow of a small
boat in the proud splay of your shoulders. Your muscles recall erosion and wear. Your shoulder
blades burst behind you, a reed keel, dark leaves, another rendering of flight.
Everything below your hips is buried in threshing snow or uncertainty or alluvium. This means
your torso is a trunk containing the most of you. Your breastbone is a smok breaking free—a
violent movement of myth, like retching forward, flying open, an anxiety in the landscape that is
not simply cold front or floodplain. This shadow body refuses.