Dear M—

The Sun burnt through her nightgown
again, and the body keeps beating,
bleating, needing every minute something
new. Why does the heart have to fight.
Why can’t it get a verb like “chiming”
or “singing”? Why does it have to beat.
Transitive, usually. He beats her. Her life
is preparation to beat them. But the heart
beats alone. Against itself.


The walls hang crooked.
The bottoms don’t touch.
The outside seeps
in like a heavier metal.
My skin a feast for any jaw
that can close on it. Quiet
heart, quiet your clanging
is waking the children.
There are no children. How
can even a bell be
out of tune. I mean, I can’t hear
the tune. I mean,
if I can’t hear it, how can
the heart be in it? The welts
rise up. The body a red
and white sand paper.
Give me something to rub
against and smooth.

Testing, Testing

I’m looking forward/worried about it! Thank you Caitlin and Jacob, for putting this on every year. It’s pretty wonderful of you.