the whole town smells of firewood and
I feel summer coming.

(I said I wouldn’t write about summer anymore.)

but how can I ignore redemption
crumbling and new wrinkles
on my face

how could i ignore a youth
that never existed.

socks are still lying on the hardwood;
voices float up the stairs and I know how
children sometimes feel like captives.
I know better than to ask you to save me.
I know better than to ask innocent blood
as sacrifice. it tastes like iron and I prefer
the salt. I prefer to be baptized
by oceans, not rivers.

do you think I got to be a god
by listening to men like you?
I listen to the redemptions through thick and
thick. I wear black but
never mourn. whose hair
is tangled in your fingers today,
hands still as though in prayer

whose milk are you refusing to cry over
today? whose chest are you using to breathe
today? who is reminding you of me

The optometrist wants to know why you keep
crying, is it because you read my letters and
remembered how your hummingbird body
fought me off?

thunder is infused with the sounds of my doubts
there’s no longer purity in the air.
everything exists in cycles and chains and
exit wounds.

a world without victors or vanquished:
everyone is stranded and no one is
happy. Experts search desperately for
what causes men to be violent.