Yes, she is coming,
and yes, she will find you.

The moribund is upon her, opened, above.
Just ask, she says. We have so much time.

Her tale is no river, is not even told.
She might name it hollow, or blood.

Lie to pawn and she will shatter,
touch your pretty face, or be swallowed.

Yes, she is here,
and yes, she has found you.

If you must eat, she will feed you words
with fingers, bleached and ungloved.

Her lips are not sweeping. Wander, you promised,
nailed to forest, before you had been shaped.

Otherworld, enter. If you must fail, explore.
There is no other way, she knows.

Yes, she is leaving,
and yes, she will let you be.

The hunger is knowing neglect, and collecting.
Be careful, she will beguile you—not yet.

Her refuge is not you, never almost.
Love not made from lullaby cannot.

Lurk, she will look. Speak, she will seem.
Worry, for this might (never) be over.





We must have missed the June bugs that year,
their small crunch of time in early summer.

They would always swarm into the Florida room
tiny bodies breaking through the hole in the screen door.

This is the room we lived in, even if the neighbors could see
right through three walls of windows unblinded.

This is not the room we died in.

We died in the kitchen with our hands to the stove,
even when they shut off the gas—no one wanted to leave.

Our mother, like her mother before her, tucked her body
into the ample oven, leaving us to draw warmth from each other.

And as our exposed bodies slowly froze, starting with our hair,
her body folded in to keep her center whole, self-defense.

Her knees became her stomach and her elbows grew into her feet,
until the frost found her a bundle of skin, already dead.





Let’s dress our wounds in tongues, brother,
like we did when we were babies, red-mouthed,
supple as only newborns can be.

I have gone months without speaking your name,
I have spent years beneath your skin.
You are smoke, there is smoke inside you.

      It is too late to kiss and make better.

That street of concrete alcoves, we hid beneath,
in tunnels made by teeth, out of glass.

A glimpse of throat, a hint of a fracture;
dig any further and you must shatter.

Once you would have lied to me, brother.
Kill me or kiss me, only do not speak to me of pain.

      Don’t punish me with your privilege.

Your hands were caught inside me, yanking tendons.
Did you think I wouldn’t recognize those fingers,
ambassador from cannibals, or brother?

Someday you will know where my hands have been,
what they have touched and what they have stolen.
If not for you, we would be sad skins indeed.

Sinuous nursling, you have always made me shiver.