When the forensics nurse inspected me, she couldn’t
see the tenderness he showed me after. My walk home
squirmed sore with night. I passed the earthworms
displaced to sidewalk, their bodies apostrophed
in the sun. I did not anticipate a grief
so small, my noun of a prayer, Eat dirt to make dirt.
Took a man’s hand as he led me to cave. So long
as I breathed, I could huff violets in his dank, practice
earth’s gasp. Mother lifts daughter, daughter casts
look at camera, a killer, a stick in the mud. I hold
my own hand. When the forensic nurse inspected
me, I described the house, historic blue. Asked me
to push my hips down. Little crescent moons
where his nails stabbed into me. She gave me
the word abrasion so gently I offered consent. Blue
as the moon when I sighed wait, blue as the no of my
throat. Abrasion, possibly extended form of red.
Harm results in a starry night too, many galaxies
scraped under the nail of a heavenly body. Ah my
second earth, its wounds hardened into swallowed
prophylaxis, an injection pooling between muscle
and skin. A woke seed. Deadarmed anti-moons
aggregated. A storm can travel seeds up to 30 miles
away. They dust on the sidewalks like lost data.
He did not intend Did not. Bloody speculum
a telescope searching the angry night sky for proof.
Copyright © 2019 by Natalie Eilbert. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 21, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.