Mothering, Four Seasons
and the dogwoods still
refuse. We fever.
We burn pure
to our purpose.
The elements remain
locked in cycles.
A front is coming. It promised.
All of a yellow
my heart appled.
Once cistern, now lake,
I decant, I am care-
ful. We leave
shiver like wet birds.
What I knew of sky
raked bright, abandoned,
I know of borrow.
I will make myself a husband,
and rest my head
on the lion’s tongue.
With this fence I thee wed
the deer tail twitching in her bed
of blood-stained leaves.
Let this make us safe
to kiss and wake in the bright light
of science. Let us place too much
stock in our own resilience.
Let us experiment. Let us embrace
and make pets of our differences.
Dear orcas who can see all the way
inside our guts. Dear mice who kill snakes
too cold to fight. No one is safe
in nature. Let us live there together
distracted as feral bees untethered
from their keeper. Our work is better
when we’re kept. Let us be needy
and also full. A crown of kinglets
ringing the suet. Let us forget.
Call it a habit my beauty my something I do/ you can’t help it/ a horse has a habit/ they too teeth the moonscum off of the apple/ a tree has the way that it grows/ so I branched and went madcap after she told me don’t let him break the horse in you/ I was at that age of dirty feet in the bedsheets never standing up straight when she said it/ bike pedals bird bones goose skin and horse flesh water in my ears and a lock of hair to suck on/ trees have a habit of baring their branches exposing the birds like new bruises/ some girls become nuns in a habit/ no boy ever kissed them/ staring up at the trees while their branches brushed dust off their shoulders/ at that age the trees whispered close your eyes to me over and over I wished for a shoulder to cheekbone/ for treebark marking the backs of my thighs/ the shirt doesn’t know till it’s back in the closet how it missed the hanger/ the hours I spend willing the woods back to stillness before I learned how to sulk I loved horses and their eyes how they are trapped behind masks made of velvet/ how I wish I were the straight-backed girl jumping from saddle to saddle while hooves bullet the sawdust/ I knew him the first time the way I know which door in my house opened by the scrape and the sigh/ sometimes I make the sound of a pencil not moving/ when he touched me I’d swear to be crowshadow quiet
whole moon for a halo
she flickers like an insect
shimmering on a switchblade/
feels like waiting
for the trickyfish
feels like wishing/ like giving
the middle finger/
foot fidgety for the mud suck
in a surface tension necklace
in a cold water dress/ one sinks
and her hair turns to ink/
dares the dark to blink and whispers
skinny/ whisks the mirror into glitter
with her shinwings/ flashlit flesh
glinting hint-hint/ limbs insist
the surface part its curtain