The Gentle Country
In America my body goes a little white tractor
Bitten beet red, hummocked. I love myself best when
I’m on the run. The dream of wintertime pinking
My earlobes, pulling them to pomegranate ducts.
Monk lions pasted to coral slabs. Sugar burning.
All the coffee I can drink. Baskets of wild mushroom
Caps, ink bottomed, crevasse stinked. My arms
Tangling the neck of an American man. So quiet
Nothing breathes but the ghost of a California freeway,
All the lakes & territories mapped, pockmarked.
America lands me, unpiloted, the lone flight attendant
Gripping a wine key while the captain takes a piss.
A woman kneeling inside her own sideways garbage bin
Scrubbing out the tangerine peels, tissue-wrapped
Tampon lovehauls. Any guitar too heavy when sadness
Grades into me. Sex a musket. A migration,
Greatwings lifting. Musculatures of rabbit.
The thing that will dwell into me, swelling me
Toward burial. My very name a vanishing act.
I named my own doll Emily. She stared at me
With blinking eyes. I unfastened her blue dress
& when he came into me, speaking the name of
His dead son, I felt how slippery I’d become,
How fast I traveled on two fingerwidths,
What sort of permission was needed as his blue
Eyed dog licked my feet in the American dark.
“The Gentle Country” is from Giantess (YesYes Books, 2018).