Stunned, how I looked back
and saw myself living inside a pattern:
I tried to redeem men
with other men. What borehole.
What structural failure
on my end. What ice lens. After everything,
this is the state you wanted.
This is your world.
I can’t deny I felt
cracks forming at the bog’s edge.
Stone rings shifted
the quilted ground in fine-grained,
porous whorls. Almost
beautiful if not for your palm
on my breath. Natural
repository for ancient life, unmapped
save for the geometry
of underground dens and burrows—
my protruding garden
is not for sale. Except for you,
who unearths my secrets for profit
in moist-wintered forests,
profit in continental shelves.
Nowhere is safe from men
and their hands. Not riverbanks,
not coastlines, not history
of the body in decay. Extinction
can’t escape a gold rush.
I was foolish to think you’d leave me
when you left me.
Where is my northerly island?
Where can I vanish
from the mathematics of shame?
I have to believe I can
rewrite this story from the ground up,
invent a new beginning
no one’s heard before, neither spoken
aloud nor written down.
Can you see all of me more clearly
this time? My weapons—
oh, my mouth’s full of them. What knives.