niina pollari

Where the Green World Leaks


When it begins.  Someone pours buckets of black oil

into a canal.  Liquid clings to things with skins and pores

and feathers, a girl could turn white and sick just watching it.

After rusty sweetpetal morning goes, after nutritious day

peels back there’s just the strange hard pit, the vague clip

sound of someone dropping the rib-knife.  Darkness is a brass

clapper that hits a vague enormous bell.  It rings, and rings,

signal-strong.  When the knitting-everything-together-sound

is gone from the air, you move inside, your arms reaching

the way pondthings feel for blood, in the monster-furred

black.  Hold back with all your limbs the unfamiliar

body as the edge you got from god molds

and melts away, a cell’s slow decay.  What’s left.  When it begins.

What You Were Doing in the Woods

I swear, you say.  Bears do drink milk.

Milk is not uncharacteristic of predatory things.

Who needs nourishment more than the deadly?

Think of the fatty coat, gleaming with enzymes;

seeing the set of blue-white teeth,

you see also the large incisors, the gums afill with

blood and health.  Whereas you walked upright too late

but spoke too soon, and taste the cold

now in your cavities, and you picked a jacket that’s too bright

a red for the forest.  Again.  It’s snowing again

and the contents of the thermos have frozen.

There is nothing here that can ever warm your hands.