A bureau, put away in roots,
onion in a drawer and shirt I will wear
when sun goes under collar,
melts the neck, runs heart-down
between legs into soil—
descent to its molten mirror.
Pipe away from the womb,
refuse clove tea in a January of lilacs
pointing up tiny hoof buds, a color
for thin and killer, valentine snow.
The perihelion leans its folk art wheel
of enormous light on the earth,
waiting for me to say, the punisher is gone.
No need anymore, anymore to be good.
But girl—for the rock, and the feeling
someone else is responsible—grief.
Outside the house I drew comic strips,
tried not to starve on books and craft paste—
that bread alone; standing on my head
and doing handsprings to invert the world
for repeated scrutiny. All of us hurt
are, or will be posts and beams
felled like trees, sprouted. Just another
heavy river cleaves the country.
A toothless skull of a lion, broken
in its roar stands empty, quiet by the rain barrel.