Mother threw a platter
of blind spots on her son,
without knowing that bees
ached in her feet.
The beads of her breath
sank into his chest —
he kept them five long years.
A tassel of singed hair cinched
around his wrists,
key latches soothing songbirds
in his pockets of fire —
he stains the night’s rim
with sprigs of dry air
exiting fevering bodies
cupped briefly by their itching.
She daubs clear his brow,
remembers: syringes filled with lake mist,
wonders if it was him
who strung teeth marks
across her wrist the night before.
Together, they pace
the ravine’s gauge nearing empty,
step upon a pale horse
lying on the earth's heat,
legs upright in the cattle guard,
butcher paper stretched taut over wiry ribs.
Its gasping sent them barreling
back toward the awakened cornfield.
they leapt back into their bodies,
they didn’t recognize their own voices.
Her apparition ferries the flowers of their bruises
back to the severing.
The bullwhip’s knotted eye turns toward her and only her.
When fences come to suckle,
where will her mind’s legs carry her?
Her departure alights them with memory.
Moths mill about her feet’s sleeping fountains.
Her throat’s cave claims each son’s song,
wears them like tiger’s legs
across nights striped and fanged.
How they stretch between moon and helium,
how they weave tuned and plucked
out of the sea’s gassed maw.
How they uncover, with clear hands,
a handful of hushed hours
held like silver coins,
where their eyes fail to shut for the third time.
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