1. I haven’t _________ since smoke dried to salt in the lakebed, since crude oil dripped from his parting slogan, the milk’s sky behind it, birds chirping from its wig. Strange, how they burrowed into the side of this rock. Strange . . . to think, they "belonged" and stepped through the flowering of a future apparent in the rearview mirror, visible from its orbit around a cluster of knives in the galaxy closest to the argument. Perhaps it was September that did this to him, his hostility struck the match on handblown glass, not him, he had nothing to do with their pulse, when rocks swarmed over and blew as leaves along the knife’s edge into summer, without even a harvest between their lies they ignited a fire— it reached sunlight in a matter of seconds. 2. It is quite possible it was the other guy clammed inside my fist who torched the phone book and watched blood seep from the light socket. Two days into leaving, the river’s outer frond flushes worms imagined in the fire onto the embankment of rust, mud deep when imagination became an asterisk in the mind. In this hue— earth swept to the center of the eye, pulses outward from the last acre held to the match’s blue flame. Mention _________, and a thickening lump in the ozone layer will appear as a house with its lights turned off— radio waves tangled like antlers inside its oven, because somewhere in the hallway nearest thirst, the water coursing through our clans begins to evaporate as it slides down our backseats— its wilderness boiled out of our bodies.
Poem from Shapeshift, reprinted with permission of The University of Arizona Press