You are not salt in my cuts.
These wounds are much older than you.
This is black and white;
This is the Bible:
The bump in your nose is exquisite,
your eyelashes are the only shade I need.
Even now, when you have been long gone,
your hair is in my bed
But I know it’s the end.
I have kept company with many endings;
I’ve memorized the sound of their voices.
I’ve been thinking of you; what the animals do
frightens me. Even in the heat of the season,
when reason has abandoned me for some shade
by the lake, I feel eyes through the trees–all eyes
on me, waiting.
You told me you are a patient man,
like most wolves. There are no corners or heights
unknown to you, even in the dark.
Even in the light, every angle of your face recalls
something missing from me.
Amy wants my earrings
wants to dangle in the light
suspended like baby’s breath
away from earthen cellar coldness
Daniel bound her in hessian scrim
to congeal her luminosity
as if she did not deserve her late August blooms
as the rest of the garden did
And there were handshakes, quartz crystals
exchanged for her absence
but I see desire,
it seeps out of her slack jaw
when I go down for peach preserves
in my emerald party dress
Amy, the favorite
Amy, the temptress
I crossed the road often
I had seen what could happen
to turtles, quails, serpents
so when twin suns approached
in the moist darkness of August
I knew there would be blood
and the blow sent vibrations
through every fiber of every tree
the black land, blue jay footsteps
and while two men argued over me
my breathing softer than it had ever been
I knew how death comes: sudden
like northern winds
I went looking for the moon and I found you,
a tiger’s bride holding her shotgun ready, steady,
pretty in your damage stripes.
You said you met him on the asphalt, could smell
his cologne and leather from the tree-tops.
And when she straightened his tie, as the helicopter
ascended, you aimed, you did not miss.
You are no patriarch’s mistress.
When God was born, I was there.
I saw her as she slipped quicksilver
from Sophia– her hair standing tall
When God was born, the midwife
said: “Look, she has extra digits.”
Behind her thumbs, new thumbs had sprung
to hold fast her mother’s wisdom.
Then I saw her grown, woman.
God a bride in white,
God a crone in black,
God with thumbs bent back.
And her wrath was nestled
like new life
beneath my stomach.
ghost to ghost
we lie on the stairs
ugly, burnt orange carpeted
I work my way up her neck
she says: “That’s more like it.”
but does not kiss me back
she wants to hear every story
behind the pictures on the wall
and she leaves little notes tucked
inside the clasp of my bra
then I see her black hair
filled with wind from the west
as she makes her back door exit