Awake again, I find my name as
                                              vanished as a midnight I want
      to salvage. To have those black teeth sinking back
                                                                      into my skin—you enter me
through an opening in the sky
                                     of my body like a face,
             a moon behind me falling slow
                                                  & moving its fingers to a mirror made
of the window above my bed. I hear the weight of its life
                                                                   pressing down & the image
cracks. A figure stands
                  in a gown of blued smoke—this me
                                                                  & you—a shadow laid over
                         the surface of a puddle. Its eyes
                                                                      lit up like those
of wolves brimming with winter. So let this body. Let it go:
                                                                                       as though a breath
wanted to be saved, I part my mouth into
                                                             púuceyxceyxne & into pieces
as I am. But language between the lips
                                                    shrapneled into air is all that ever touches
                           the never-seen
pink of my lungs. I breathe in & breathe out. For what
                                                                        we’ve lost—my dear
ghosts. The sound of the field
                                       long after the war

From Swallowed Light by Michael Wasson. Copyright © 2022 by Michael Wasson. Reprinted with the permission of the Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.