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A Matchbook, a Haystack

The brain’s old devotions. I fell
asleep where I sat in the winter
of windstorms drifted back.
I could guess the year by the sun,
the oaks, air-surge invisible
like a dream around the eyes, a whistle
when rounding the neighbor’s rotting roof.
Face against the carpet and my body
heavy in my father’s childhood
house with the second floor banister.
Where I was afraid to fall.
A splinter can work its way
from the surface to your heart.
A simple memory left under the skin,
a bruise, inviolate. It will work
its way through. My dreams were of
falling from the iron banister, stairs
becoming narrower.



When I heard Lakeside,
I saw green waters.


Nineteen eighty-nine,

my grandfather, that woman—
grandmother’s mind became a bird
struck by a stone.

I became a cat, cried mew
when they called my name,
drew lines over my entire body,
wouldn’t turn four on my birthday.

White linens, white light—

Where do stones go when March ends?
Into the grass, into the lakes
into the stomachs of birds.