As a girl I made my calves into little drinking elephants,
I would stare at the wonder of their pumping muscles,
the sup of their leg-trunks. I resuscitated a bunny once
from my cat’s electric teeth. I was on neighborhood watch
to save animals, as many as I could. My damage was easy.
My plainspoken voice is a watercolor. I’m afraid of it
as I’m afraid of what the world will do to color. I don’t
think I’ve done much. A table leans against itself
to be a table. I hold nothing but this air. I give it off.
I want a literature that is not made from literature, says Bhanu.
Last night my legs ached a low-tone. I imagined the body
giving itself up for another system. Dandelions tickling
out of my knee. The meniscus a household of worms.
It is okay to bear. My apartment hums in a Rilke sense.
A pain blooms. I am told that it’s okay to forego details
of what happened. I am told it doesn’t matter now.
I want to write sentences for days. I want days to not
be a sentence. We put men in boxes and sail them away.
Justice gave me an amber necklace. I tried to swallow
as many as I could.
5 AM—the world is silent save for the heater
in the hallway, the cars wooshing
down the main road, the vibrato of
every single driver. Every creak of a settling
house. Lay my head down, press it into pillow.
On the window sill a jar of coins,
sunlight crawling through the
water in an empty spaghetti jar.
A spider settles itself into the warmth
of my house. Inside the body: ghosts
of IVs, needles, feeling
breathless in a hospital bed.
Somewhere inside my brain aware
of the machine pumping oxygen,
beeping, attached by wires to the chest.
In the chest, an animal. The animal
forgetting how: to howl, to crawl,
to find the words.