Nickole Brown

How To Forgive

plant it in the folds of your intestines
where it is warm and dark and swimming
in shit. keep it there in the churning wormed
organs, hold it still, claim it your own. say
this is mine—my garbage, my rot, my rage, and i will not

just lay it down.
rock it in your arms and love it til it calms, rub its demon head
with sweet oil and song, find its facula and stare unprotected into sun.
call your body
make room without throwing a single thing out
to clutter the world. you are not mercury for the mouths of fish,
not a plume of smoke to lift hollow bones. do not throw it
like a bottle from an overpass onto a speeding car, do not wait
for it to seed as you wait tentacled in sleeping beauty’s hair.
listen to me, i know how it works, simply
bury it, but bury it

“How To Forgive” is from Sister (Red Hen Press, 2007).