practice, she said; practice, make a
bed from the hook, the vice with an eye
make love to the dirt. forget the womb.
they boiled your marrow
but you said practice, this is
practice. emptied your head, a new breathing hole
scrubbed out your parentage, renounced your mothers
grew a tongue with eyes. laboured for it.
abandoned the strand to
greet each new pearl; the branches and the baby's
head. an embryo, a swarm of nerves, umbilical
the bees, the brightness
thirty one years of seeds, all contracting.
stopped breathing. became a lung
the branches and the baby's head, nested
a thousand girls. wish-dried sunbone,
never hatched a one.
muted, damp, cloaked in albumen
naked mouth eating the whole universe
what could possibly soothe you?
here it is:
it is nothing.
loose leaf, flaking,
crackling, unburden. buckle, uncling.
peel back those claws.…