let us pour over the archives, and mark
yes, this many to him, and these to him
and all this petty stack of words to her
note down the tallying of hours, waking and dreaming
devoted to each one, and let my flesh be divided
a knuckle bone to everyone who ever lost me sleep
The neck that does not turn so fully yet, the hands that shake, the foot that shifts, all my breaking bones do go to all of you. I want to reach into your guts, make light of all that slick and dark interior, I want to braid the hair inside our bodies and make you value breath so I might learn.
Strange American men leaning on the sides of pickup trucks in light rain, voices meant for radio buzzing against my neck, the kind of lives that lead to broken bottles and ever-forwarding mail, I just want to lasso myself in to something with a form, and it seems I can trick myself a thousand times with that old golden ploy, pretending that someone clever’s sticky thighs will pluck the fever from my head and give it shape.
Learning the ways in which a heart is broken by design. My mouth is filled with matted bits of clementine, little bones, your name. Slide that palette knife across us both to get the color right. I am not a safe woman, but I am predictable at worst. Give me your dirty hands to wipe my skirt on. Give me all the pretty boys and girls to make the scapegoat gleam. oh well, oh well, oh well, the lilting set of hinging time abets all criminals and I am only a beast of desire. I raise my hand to my brow to think and find it sticky with the recollection of your face.