I have rummaged in steel cages, cut my finger
while I carved the apple of my health until the peel
lived, dancing like a string from my nipple.
From my shoulders, my black shawl measures your length,
your width in death.
Quit the landscape of knives.
I have tasted salt too many times,
worn a backpack filled with slag and fortune,
planted teeth and bone in a summer garden,
guzzled everything red and splintered.
I’ve roped a wrist, a neck, in my netted
dreams. Cut out paper dolls but shredded their clothes.
Granted my eyes a flood of blood,
switched from screams to whimpers.
What could have steadied your hand? Not my lips or breasts.
Broken branches from the winged elm stack like a trap.
Those who walk with me may not look back.