“My uncle is skinning peaches for cobbler because I stink
like city, he says, like iron and exhaust and a girl should know
the taste of something with the sun still inside it, because when I leave
this house and go back to my mama and she breathes me in
he wants me to smell like she used to, like dirt….”
“My sister calls all birds suicidal.
Our mother sits in her big green chair,
too weary, even, to talk on the phone.
All afternoon it’s rained and rained—
all the damp world weeping, so I’ve thought.
Self-pity stinks, my mother says…”
“…We refuse the bruises of blood,
we want to honor the thrust of history, the trust
inside each splitting cell, so we wrap ourselves
within each other, away from the constant sirens.
We fumble our flesh, our mouths wide enough
to swallow the world…”