HYMN 14: LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

KATHRYN HARGETT

 
 

Out back the weeds grow mouths like electrical sockets,

& the vines flesh green to autopsies. My own mouth
 
             spills seeds, a cluster of ospreys hungry for a reason to
             return. He threads my incisors through with cilantro stems,
 
& I spit roaches into the grass big as his palms. In response,

he holds my name like a dead bird. In response,
 
             I shove my fingers down my throat, wait for my breath
             to detonate in his veins. Out back the sky smiles ugly
 
like a skinned catfish. He gathers my dead name
against his hips: everywhere tongue & teeth.
 
             The orchids pearl: fist to jaw. I hit my ankles

             against his calves like a car crash. No ambulance comes.
 
He opens my abdomen, his legs. Inside: mercury, spit.

Under the oak trees, he peels me to river water.
 
             Says: at least it tastes how it smells. Gout. Cocaine.

             His mouth hushed to smoke, the cavity
 
collapsed to limbs. He nods, hooks his fingers under

my lips. Says: see how light the earth is— after.
 
             The bones hollowed, bruises like coins: places where

             we didn’t connect. After, the oaks rot to hands.

 

 
 

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