Empty Ring, Nest Fire

My first burnt bark child—flung to the windless flames
Second sly child—dressed for weather, swan skinned

Serpents impress diamonds into my salt shoulders
This composed with the Devil’s black forked feet

He wants them back, sunk in hot white ink 
Tentacles; mother-hunger hundred-mouths; the drift and
     night-closures

Number one child, the jawbone I packed for you, axe-bright
Number two child, that hard set of hooves, elegant, horse-swift

Recall that one midsummer squall, us the color of water
The shock of hail: the sky astonished, dropping all its blind white 
     eyes

A History of Domestication

Put your name in a hat, or a volcano:
Your sense of time is inadequate:

While I sleep my secret face faces the other way:
Grief is a heated iron comb:

The kerosene of grief, it doesn’t age well, it degrades:
Grief is a kind of time:

Sign your name. Become a series of signals:
            Holes punched through a rag. Make a space to look through:
            Your eye is a hole, too:
            Your iris constricts a telegraphy of the future:

Strange deliveries:
            The midwifery of anything here:
            Trade this hide for sod:

At night I dream of an infant made of flour and heat:
We dream of the castaway wind inside us:

At night my throat dresses itself in green feathers:
It does. You do:

Related Poems

Toy Cloud

The rabbit has stolen
The big bear’s pointy red hat.

The frog looks longingly
At its evaporating pond.

A powerful glow comes
Off the sunflower

So everyone wears goggles.
My son rolls around in the ferns.

It seems he has overdosed
On sugar cookies.

Does he care about the bear’s hat?
To him I am a ghost on a bicycle.

I remember my father’s mouth
Reading aloud beneath his beard.

He is hiding in my face.
The toy cloud is filled with rain.