when the soil rests on top

to smother            just add a lisp to        mother



  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-



                                 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


                                                the earthquake      you might have been alive


but not for long I



  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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