The feeling inside was powder and flame

in the gun of my throat.


I didn’t know how to shape my fingers ‘round your wrists

so that you’d understand.


When I said ribbons yellow and turn,

what I meant was the village burned. Here,


below our feet.

In the smoke, the sound was a fast hand erasing.


That winter, the sky was so very white

and nothing changed

until you—

you became this other in a flash of rapid oxidation: too


like the whole world: where nothing

could be counted


or meant.


* * *


When I broke the jar, it was because I threw it at the floor.


Or it was because a dark creature inside that needed stopping

had welled up,


urging: Come,

place your mouth over mine.


Seal this hole. Give me a pill. Give me

a promise.

A meal.

A bullet.
A seed.



for P.C., with thanks