The Door

Goats mewling
in the Muslim village.
Leafy footpath
into the bodiless acre
of graves. Pass.

chickens (a fury, a pack)
one pig (Salma)

Instructors measure our fervor.
Your machine must cover
the kill zone    100%    Notate this fever    Carry

the lure of the apple.
Where are you Salma? Little ache
of sky. Killing
Field inside, branches latched. Arbor, what is beyond
this wood?

Anthropologists practice at the circling
pinwheels of faces; those at war are matchless.

Laith has skulls and flags flesh graven.  In the war, L
worked with the Americans    So did O. / so did H. / so did
                       We split and cast away
          salt seeds over the needles.
          Get more at the gas station a mile outside. Outside,
          there are bursting cotton bolls,
molecule to sepal
sepal to stalk
blowing their little snow over
the red clay. Out there,
a gas station    breathing roads

Even you, dear you; you
have been waiting a long time
for me, haven’t you?
Take this road into the body / return it
as a love
letter. Body
a simmering lake
of code, nutrient,
wishing. In Arabic,
there is a word that means the cleaving
from dormancy or sorrow
into first joy.
Or, the arriving
mouth of the messenger.
It is right on the other side of this wood.

Copyright © 2016 Nomi Stone. “The Door” originally appeared in Guernica. Used with permission of the author.