[Prayer for seven years]

Listen I do not want your pity I was a child and I did

not speak did not understand and now the story has

no power yes I was I still am that one yesterday and

the day before and all the ones that came after listen

I loved more than anything my mother listen this spring

to the wings scraping the air raw watch the seething

shore where dying songbirds are stones the journey

made I stand on this southern shore and spring throws

dying birds like vile rain like rain trying to find its sad


To write means to drown nothing more

I write you letters which means I drown in specific places the shape of an alphabet the shape of a paper a face

Here let me erase what I’ve written

No let me erase the previous beloved to whom I wrote

The globe is full of plastic made to look like snow the bowl is full of things pretending to be fruit incapable of rot

Fruit is the womb of the plant is the mute sweetness of hope

[Charm against sorrow]

Someone perched bird-like knees drawn to chin feet on a fat branch

back curved like a broken arch someone was huddled on a dead tree

on a tree like old bone over water someone could find nothing at all

to praise in the cage of skin nothing in the cage of afternoon someone

ached and was empty the way the beaten sky might sometimes be just

like a bruise the way storms leave everything behind to heal itself again

to make itself into something other than a case study for the wind and