Dear Kate

stuck on molecules, I crack

the spine of a newborn

book. It’s quiet now,

moths pinging soft

off lamps, discarded tissues.

 

The body of the moth is shorter and stouter

than that of the butterfly.

Some moths cannot eat, for they have no mouths.

Once, while I slept, two moths took shelter in my dress,

left hanging overnight to dry.

 

in the morning I’ll pick wings out of the carpet

and think of you

the box of your jaw, how you cocked your hip

in the teacher’s lounge, your mouth parts

painted scarlet, the downy fold of

eyebrows like apostrophes

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Our Fight

Our fight is hiding out inside of me,
a thief about to be caught, a cramp I keep.
It’s stealing my ease in sips
and burps,
unpeeling my eviction stickers
and turning them to flags.
Our fight is radioactive, with a half life
of two times one half to the power of Fuck Off;
it’s mutating my baby, which will seriously put a damper
on his scheduled metamorphosis,
tentative next year.
Our fight is a love song,
only furiously angry–
a sonnet stuffed in a lullaby
chucked headfirst into a woodchipper.

Storm

I’m mad at you,
so I sit in the woods
in the dark where the trees are sleeping.
It’s cold and I forgot my sweater
but I kind of like that it’s cold,
like the night is telling me to chill out
like if I get cold enough, I’ll be forgiven
for being so angry I cried.

I mean,
someday one of us will be dead
and the other will not be dead
and this will seem stupid.

But right now, the wind
is sighing a little in the limbs over my head
and it feels like it’s going to rain
a rain to end the drought,
soothing the firs and rhododendrons.

Latent

Daughter, you’ve turned out lovely
(So be on the lookout for rapists)
I’ve always known you would go far in life
(Also, prepare for rapists).

I look forward to your successes
(See that you mind the rapists)
And news of your accomplishments.
(Did I remind you yet of the rapists?)

Don’t ever settle. Never give up.
(Be careful, in case there are rapists)
Always be thoughtful, always work hard
(And be on your guard, because rapists).

Mud

They want blood so they will have it
Even the women fight.

The rain turns everything to mud.
They bleed for mud, for mud is all they have.

When they burn they weep into the ashes
And become the mud for which they die.