The Year Made Out of a Cut in Your Civilization

Out of the lamb’s eye where the dead  
shop for perfumes and bronze-colored cake. Out of  
the buttered cobs, embarrassing and sweet corn  
in your teeth. Out of a fog  
engorged above Baltic waves. The loan-sharked waves. Out of how 
happy we all could be. Out of the gun in the girl’s dress pocket. 
Out of seamstress and the ghost. Out of the unkind,  
blond-haired spring where your name goes missing in the wind.  
Out of crispy fish skin regressing to oil. Out of your Polish side  
draping its scales over your Russian side. Out of the branch’s  
private misery. Out of your gums the last leaf  
and Yiddish tooth. Out of the refurbished, de-fished sea.  

Copyright © 2024 by Carlie Hoffman. Used with the permission of the author.