Cut an animal tongue to turn the body to gold. Figure burst whole from fruit, then bent back in. The skin is fresh, the bruise but a moment and fine. The man, his hand sunk in the sea, anchors nothing. One woman at another, small blade at her eye. These are the stories we do not want to tell. To swell (a mother), to retract into fugitive sleep. Embed a word in a single rib & live eighty years longer than the rest. Tie cloth around the eyes. A body swathed in blue will be safe, the eyes turn up on cue. What is severed, what kneeling, what waiting just past the gate. Unveil the mannequin's legs in glee. This is not a feast and at least one lack cannot be avenged. Fallen persimmons quiet the eyes. What climbs, what steals, what severs in threes. One opening breaks into the next. This is only a mouth. I'm sure you know the rest. To break, to liquefy, to drink the answer down. I for one have given. "Send the butcher back when he arrives at the gate." A paper bird can only melt in the rain. Its rider stares death in the mouth and can't speak. A figure of light, a lie, a woman so pure children only believe. To sow, to steep, to follow unthinking. Animal love a tree too much. Be killed by what it has planted.
From Having Cut the Sparrow's Heart by Melinda Markham. Copyright © 2010 by Melinda Markham. Used by permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.