But who had the broken fingers, wrists blue and purple like flower in a picture book? Pepper jars and turpentine and pillars of salt, scattered stems in the bathtub, burning on the stove. Leanne, legs long as that journey west, and the horrible fairy tales about children drowning in the river two miles east, and black burnt suns in the couch, and the walls grow tighter like a horror movie or a booby trap. In Egypt, they call this love.
God keeps a bottle of Advil in his glove compartment. Just in case, ya know. Long car rides. Would be shit to have a migraine. He goes down a side road to avoid traffic. It’s morning. No, night. He’s sexier than you expected. But not like movie star sexy. Or high school quarterback sexy. He’s more like Hot Dad. It’s weird. You pull your skirt down. Adjust your seatbelt. The light bends around him, drips from the window to your thighs. He’s not going to ask you how your night went or if your life is okay or if you can redeem your one fairy tale wish. He’s looking straight into the night, hand tapping on the car door. The stars are winking. He stops at the light, and you wonder if he’s going to kiss you.
Softly now, Eve transcends.
She remembers the garden,
kissing him, her tongue, his teeth,
the pink of his gums, her cheeks, red.
How he touched her thigh & she became
morning. The power in her hands,
the summer in his breath. The horses.
The rain. Eve learns to love the body
she has and the body she came from
at the same time. The apples and pears
and flowers directly above her, her fingers
digging into his ribs. A reminder: this is the first place
you called home.
Poem for boy with all his baby teeth in a ring box under his bed. Poem for boy with bee stingers in his palm, for broken neck birds, too many pink scars on his shoulders. Poem for boy nailing our scarecrow to the tree out back. Poem for boy, bloodless hands, dead father, weighed down branches, steady. Poem for riverbank eulogy, poem for the house on fire, for the empty bedrooms, for the baby teeth, for his scratched out face, for the wheat I pulled to make that scarecrow whole. Poem for boy, for husk, for knotted rope, and a white bird, all quiet, all burned.
God called me Fish Heart. Lily Mouth. I was an evening sort of girl. He liked me better ripped up, bar bathrooms, bar peanuts, skip the small talk. We’re both Adam. We’re both Eve. In the mornings, swallowing bait, swallowing nails, pulling apart the microwave, two forks and an empty socket. Baby, there is always a limit. Hours spent rubbing my belly, waiting for watermelon trees, or orange bushes, or flowers heavy with green apples. And now, this is what I can dissect: his fingers in the gut of the fish, his fingers in the core of the flower, always pulling. Like it wasn’t enough to feel, like He had to see, to know.
Huck kisses Angie in orange light on an empty road and no one sees.
Angie tells Huck things like in my dreams a bird cut through the telephone wires and that oak tree fell into our living room i want to hold up a gas station not for the money but for all the popsicle stick lights and Huck knows she means i love you.
The first time Angie trips, she is eighteen years old with Tom and Jimmy by the swamp waters and Ton is wasted and flirty and keeps touching her thigh, kneading it through her jeans.
"Tom, baby, make me clumsy"
Angie is skinny and pretty with deep dimples and eyes that never open all the way.
Huck wants her the second he sees hers.
"What would you do if I left?"
"Where would you go?"
"Maybe the river a couple miles east."
"Wait for you to come back."
Huck’s not a bad guy really, he just isn’t sure he exists sometimes.
He sets the oak tree in fire. Makes a mark. Kisses Angie.
No one sees.
poem for syrup dreams, brush fire smoke, the forest gutted, two miles westward. poem for pink tongues and the broken headboard and how you slept in jeans nights we got home late and scared, our knuckles bruised, noses bleeding. poem for glasses off, blind. poem for cups of sugar on the front porch, salt in our bed. poem for empty fridge, empty pockets, all the vases broken, flowers peeking through. empty bowls of porridge, this house too big for the both of us. poem for my name, rebirth, and how you look at me in the dark, our silhouettes the lightest parts of us.
jesus called he said he’s sick / of the distance
sunday afternoons at the theater, passing bags of pills like licorice sticks, kissing roach faced ushers and watching the moon lay her thigh, her palm across the man in the back seat. i told him to stop bitching, just enjoy crescent while she lasts, and he opened his mouth, let a hundred thousand moths fly out, i said god dammit, and maybe two vultures, maybe a dove. i said wait, he blinked. i said lung or liver or kidney stone, he licked the side of my face, pushed crescent to the floor. now, twelve trailers, a reprise.
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