when the soil rests on top


to smother            just add a lisp to        mother

-hood

 

  o hissing woman

                                                you snake

                                                eve you fill

                                                                        the room even as corpse    or legend:

 

the woman stifling               the women             stifled         the want

 

 

during the earthquake I hid               in a doorway

you were crushed

                                                under         falling beams         shoddy crafts-

manship

 

                                 this house we did not build

 

                 roof floating down                  that tree you loved in autumn          those orange

maple      leaves

 

your smashed thigh ooze                     thick      &    slow

a cacophony of bone

 

before the earthquake I smothered   you with my love, after

 

I suctioned out the guts

 

         drying skin a rubber mask     stretched      to meet my needs

 

                                                I stuffed your skull with sawdust

 

your chest and forearms      a scarecrow     a safety

a surety

                                 after

                                                the earthquake      you might have been alive

 

but not for long I

promise

 

  I did not shoot you to put you out    of your misery. I hung

 

you out to dry

 

& rebuilt                                        tonight I lather up                velvet host to

                                                                                                        all my little lumps & splinters

 

I rest my head against a chest

                                                                                 a quickening               a beat

 

                 you     sliver into me

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