over the phantom trees by the back wood,
girls find shelter in laps and butcher
hands, which slip like river water. i remember
that cold, that gray mistaken as exit wound,
that girl who told me to keep walking through
the billow, unsmoken bodied and hairstill.
we bury the shrapnel like pearls as the thaw
spits on the war exhibit with hail chips.
the scythe squeezes a blue syrup in the sky
and we assume this is the process of forgetting.
we learned what parts of ourselves
to kill and un-hue and how to nestle in other
people’s mouths -- to lose the mass of your own
ghost and the glints of family portraits
that ricochets like a white asterisk. our bellies
are filled with half-sharpened knives and apples
throat-rottened and beautiful.