Wind Calls from the Burning

I'm seated in an all-night cafeteria.
Mind a scar made long by others' words.
My shadow withdraws into night. Cup empty.
Head in a noose, rosary in need of a pruning.

I'm no bride of Christ. I'm a child
locked in her room nights, the walls shackled
with people. Pillow a blank page.
I aspirate tenses. My tenses are conditional.

I'm parked in a drive-in. What's showing
is other humans.

My mood's an incomprehensible scribble
mouth the place where death speaks.
I'm a moon away from becoming the world's
bad news, the irreducible center of a final snow.

A tree folds, and the garden next door
contests my living. Wind's ice-bitten
and steals the final inhale
from the shallowest breath, the light from cages
where the naked birds are kept.

Snow mimics the hem of my wedding dress.
My marriage was never gold-edged. Hard the bed
where we made love. With every embrace
I heard a rib break.

A generation of silk worms is spinning my casket.
I'd rather a river swift and cold and final.
Dust from an unseen wind
sharp enough to cut a man in two; a two-way firing squad
to do us all in so that the healing can start from zero.

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