Rage says to dirt:

                Sequins I stitched
                into my side with blue-vein thread—

                                Admire them, their capillary flash.

Conscience says to dirt:

                Sorrowful bull, doleful eyes,
                la fiesta brava, picadors, banderillos—

                                I observe you all.

Sad says to dirt:

                The milk-ring on the desk
                is an open mouth.

                                It furs with mold.

Lust says to dirt:

                The ripe apricots fall
                from the trees.

                                Do you envy me my teeth?

Worry says to dirt:

                I sink!
                I sink!

                                Water pools my eye-sockets.

Dream says to dirt:

                See me held aloft
                by twelve acrobat bears?

                                They will marry me.

Dirt says:

                Come to me, I’ll cover you.



  Fluent in a fractured
language— ulna) tongue slipping up the length
of the greasy kitchen knife (bone

fractured like a mother tongue, (Bêche-
r—a kitchen table, three splintered
legs, a downpour—

fluent, gutters release
their hoards—
(small bones of

cottonwoods wave (radius, metacarpal, phalanges
sway and rock like

one mother swinging by her neck
from the cellar joist, another’s endless
kitchen (wide lap, open arms—



  I took water to mean mother—
cup and saucer for husband and wife,
then I took another—
I took an iridescent damselfly
to mean I’ll have to die, and soon,
and still—
I took sex to mean I’m alone
with a pile of gold and a thin wood door—
I took mother to mean
hide your heart.
I took skin for the language
between us, found speed for breath—
I took mother to mean your heart
is not your own.
I took touch for palm,
a damp feathered beast, smallish claws—
I took mother for Attended, alone,
then I took me to mean Zero at the Bone—
I went to mother,
took mother to mean—