by Zachary Hatfield

Dear world: there is an image from my past.  Through
grimy blinds I see a girl with an ankh on her wrist as she plants

molars in the yard.  She must be just eleven
or twelve, a couple years older than me.

It is December.  It is five in the evening.  A broken oath
of sunlight spills over her as she empties armfuls of twilit

teeth into the ground: cavity in cavity.  They are
wisdom teeth & so she expects something wise

to grow, some rooted twin, a brother would be worth
the ache.

But nothing grows.  I never knew her name but it seems
a palindrome: Hannah, Anna, Aziza.

Or maybe Eve.  I still go back there in Decembers,
when slaughtered stars kiss queasily in the bright black;

often my knees buckle from time’s debt, it’s true:
these stars explain me; I learn their light.

Dear world: sometimes eagle fly here.  I imagine stuffing their
plumage in my childhood pillow, the feathers—often

they resemble nothing, sometimes gray blades dipped
in African sky.  In these moments when wings throw themselves

forward I can feel a burglary
inside me, something in the eaves escaping & the memory of

the girl who held songs of teeth is dim, furred with dust
& too-loved.  Embraced in an oak is a kite of fire, this world’s left

to shatter.  When it is dark & the day is still only a rumor, & although
I have forgotten where they are buried, I begin to dig.

For the dumb hurt, the unborn wisdom, the enamel jewels.
But for the hunger too.

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