A gold crown lifted and left in the forest.
A black dog with a secret.
Reeds braided into a basket filled with tobacco leaves. Like
postcards from a voyage to the New World.
Hard water clogging tap, drain, the shower where you will never get clean.
The tobacco leaves lie down like a carpet.
In the jungle’s green yellow: animals cackle and hoot, stealing the girl child.
She learns to tear meat with her sharp baby teeth.
The Daughter of No One
In the left-hand doorway
touches a finger to her lips
Her face is a dried apple of sorrow.
Not the apples the terror trees
tossed at us, Scarecrow.
Here is a box of parts for the asking:
heart that looks like velvet
but is red fur, matted, a smell of flesh rising.
If you want this story, you must bargain me down.
a suitcase, stored for months,
will shift and sigh without warning
Will shift and sigh over the hard bargain
the delicate Ah–
Half a cough, an ahem of pleasure.
Spelled out like an alphabet
A calendar in x’s and y’s.
Here are the rules for dreaming:
a schedule for the day after sleeping.
Clap of thunder, yellow stream of
dust, rough oval of sweat
on a man’s gray shirt .
Yellow rose on the bank.
on the bank of the creek thick with blood.
dragged out the cellar door.
I had flesh beneath my fingernails. I had
sinew caught between my teeth.
Flat, the world pressed out of breath. Breathing:
O, sigh me back to sorrow
I am so sick of tomorrow.
Bring me a feather, a leaf, a bowl
filled with jelly.
Whistle, purse, castigate, loll. O, my helpless one,
your life, your silly life. I am the milly-
molly of your strongest desire, your
Red ribbon on a girl’s tender neck.
Not cloth, but blood. O let
the head not topple, let
the red be anything but.
Seven golden curls: give one to each brother.
the gathering — I am sick
of my bag of tricks—
clouds. Soft as velvet
the shrinking map of discovery
where white horses
ride the sea down to sand.