Born on the river’s wrong side,
I am the March weather that spits wind
in the eaves of your house, the recluse spider
hidden in your rolled up kitchen towel. I am the wobble
in the loops of your handwriting, the trembling shadow
you cannot shake from the creases in your stationery.
I am the shifting field in your chest, the rust in your wellwater.
That splintering crack of gunshot during an otherwise silent migration.
You know I am
the presence that scatters harvesting birds
from your birch tree branches. You know
I am the bonewhite spaces of bark and trunk left behind.
And when the doctor exposes the knob
in your lung, when your ruined womb releases,
when your husband says he can no longer try
to be away from you, when the fires shake your house
and lick your children’s hairbows
and eat their tiny shoes, I crawl into your stomach and open it so wide
you think the air might be dampening, think a bat might be hanging
like a tongue in the cave of your heart.
But because every day you pass through the same spaces
I have been, you shudder less: Because when I leave a room,
you enter the closing hole of sifting particles
and make your heart larger:
I am also the sweetness of an overripe apple straining to the edges of its peel,
the hard seeds between your teeth, the white flash
of juice running down your chin. I am the stain
and the color, the flesh and the still life, the shadow beneath a wooden bowl
and the light gathered on its rim.
published as “Vanishing Point.” Yemassee Journal. 18.1.2 (2011): 97. Print.