He Plants a Seed
for every baby tooth you'll ever lose.

think of me in the evenings when no words remain the way carcasses are a forest fires only left-behinds 

+ Give me a world, you have taken the world I was. Tag, Anne Carson
+ I want to forget that
my body is borrowed from dirt.
Holy, Holy Whomever, C. Dylan Bassett

Sometimes the little things: trillium in the woods, the
red wing of the blackbird, rhubarb and fiddleheads, wild berries,
a marsh hawk hunting. Thunder comes late each day. I walk knee-
deep in the meadow: pink poppies, mint. These are fieldnotes for
healing. When will I stop asking after you? I watch a dog die on
Highway 684. The part about desire is that it runs you over. By the
time I’m someone else, you’re gone. Wicked promise against
what lasts. Bees knock on these windows. What my body wants
to say to your body, it cannot.

+ To love is to unwind the long thread of your heart and, at the end, tie a noose. Sandra Beasley

You dreamed, continually, of water,

Of gulfs spreading out in darkness, of rain

Overflowing potted plants, a river

That for reasons you couldn’t quite explain

Had childhood at its source and emptied, too,

Muddled voices, a seascape—blue on blue

You half liked it there, but woke up thirsty,

Stunned by the loud yellow alarm of noon.

The sunlight blasting through the trellised creeper

Made shadows on the bare walls of your room

That were as real as vine, only darker, 

As you lay wondering who would find you 

With blood blooming on the wall behind you. 

Letters to a Stranger


I have learned to camouflage myself in church,

Masking my body

With the body of a saint.

Thirteenth Summer

Who is twelve? Not you, in absolute skirt

and sweet on treasures twisted out

from underneath the pokeweed and plywood.

Someone has promised you sticky canyon jewels,

and then showed you where to put your hands,

saying, It’s like peeling the sky


There is no single moment of loss, there is 
an amassing.


I dreamed the tangled crush of magic peels/ 
in the wax leaves made a spell of bones/ 
and everything bloomed big and better than/ 
before, and beyond the barbed wire, beyond
/ this fence of angry fists there’s a breathing,
/ there’s a breathing underwater.

+ In the dining room, they would crumple over the table like paper angels if anyone raised an eyebrow. The Diary of a Lost Girl, Mary Jo Bang
Origin of the Marble Forest

Childhood dotted with bodies. 

Let them go, let them

be ghosts.

No, I said,

make them stay, make them stone.


whose indifference 

broke your back? 

I remember 

when you were six and dusty blonde 

playing in the gravel 

quiet and alone 

before the days started pulling teeth 

before the days started pushing back

The Guidance Counselor to the Girl

…Here’s the list

of promising careers: Muskrat we’ll cross out.
Blue spruce on a half acre? Nest-fleeing cardinal?

Maybe? Let’s mark it. Throw-pillow by the fire?
Asphalt-dinged Route 40 road sign? Lost gold

stud in the sand? Anything? We’ll keep going.
Abandoned Chevy in near-mint condition? One stone

in the Grand Canyon at sunset? No, I agree, too much
responsibility. How about this—the iron clapper

in a wind chime. Well, I don’t know, my dear—
I imagine you’d have to create the wind yourself.


Consider the exit, the exit 19: it’s trees till it’s cables… Comes cupped in paper, my upper, my intake, I’m often exhausted in stores.



          What’s drifting or drinking in rivers looks oily—


the quivery light of the sun. I’m speaking of mouths, of chairs, meds, laps. Of Bibles and plush and bile and bills. Like nothing that comes from the cry in the wall, like nothing the ghost out the side of my head. A woman who hangs with Biblical figures can’t speed her departure, her anger’s still firm. Piled up bedclothes; it looks like they lost one; there’s nothing but waiting, there’s nothing but waiting, there’s nothing but waiting and meals.