SMOKEY TERRIBLE

E. KRISTIN ANDERSON

 

                      (a golden shovel after Kesha)
 
Today I touch the damp of almost summer—you
know that fog slipping past the concrete. I build
 
my spine stone on stone, bear the weight. This is me:
 
learning to float, air thick like candle wax, looking up
to find closer stars. Is this how we might break? You
 
just another sunrise? A bruise buried in winter? We break
 
our tongues, branch after branch, taste the earth. This is me:
learning to leave, every speck of dust sucking the truth down
 
into the fire. Wait—I’ll open my palms, cradle my
concern, that road paved hot and wild in the heart.
 
Down in the brambles I let my skin breathe. Bathe in it—
 
the birch, the bind, the thread, the thorn. A fist pounds
against my thigh, that dance swallowed in me. And, yeah,
 
I remember the brief moments of blooming, a canary you
 
send down into my gut, just in case. I spit feathers. I’ve got
your last word. Tonight I think I’ll let the magnolia have me.

 
 

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