by Zara Meadows

Gold-teased evening, & the absence of going home
is sounding through the dove trees, the hum of the
summit blotting out the spaces where they should hear
bottlenecks blitzing & spritzing against porch steps,
where the only collision we speak of is lips
to fizz to tongue-spasm, belly-commotion to ahhhh;
the only demolition is what the morning waits for us
to remember, O my honey-dipped one, my Sunday-white bread,
when you laughed so hard the pain
shot out your nose, you cupped it to your face
as if to smell the good it did you, sucked your gums
close to commemorate those who have drowned
in their own mouths, rubbed your thumb to the grain
of the wall we built, with bricks beyond our reach
& sandpaper, lots of sandpaper. Here, they can see the
blueprints, tower blocks of craft & careful intention
to be further than a scaffold of skin, not the hospital-grey
of herons meandering tight to the leathered banks, not woodchip
packed down to damp out blood & terror & the intermingled
warbling of both, not a tape measure slicing into your smile lines,
not dusk with its wide-eyed lungs exhaling you out of existence,
the sun puddling in your sick, so scared of a moon that would never surface.

Dear God I want // to see you but I want the real // death real // overboard stab wounds // true crime documentaries really check // those dental records someone please // identify this body I once could have // loved her with my eyes closed // if given the chance I // could still go blindfolded // headlong stare // into this pickling bruise of night and still // no doubt I would find the beds of her nine // fingernails God don’t ask // about the tenth you know where it went // and so do I

Recalling the path blood took
In your thighs before they found
Them crushed up they broke your
Cheekbones where my kisses once
Fell like storms into rain barrels
And your face was the face of the famous
Mass graves your mother said your birth was
Like a small devastation don’t worry she waited
After your funeral the silence rattled
Your old dartboard she wanted to scream
Bullseye she wanted her flesh pricked
And I cried for her it was like she never
Knew you or the hands of a heaven
So far away from any flame it burns me