Fractured Planes: An Empty Defense Mechanism

It’s the spaces between vertebrae that allow lizards to drop their tail

I was watching this thing you just said hanging in the air between us:1

Papa’s in the sky? Can we drive to him?

My skin and muscles, blood and nerves, separate—

an amputation that affects my sense of balance

like one-way texts and much too much listening on your side

The reproductive process stops and

bundles of muscle fold over exposed bone

They say the end will dry into a cap

My skin grows over a silence slit long

ways sunflower petals roll over the crest

ways I bump into another form of myself:

dried pistils and stamens, yellow curves, dotted lines—

a flower stretched over a hundred yards2

When it grows back, the tail’s not the same length or color

and can’t be dropped again until you nod and tell me, Papa’s at home.

He’s just home now.

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