in california we spill dirt through woven fingers and swallow the earth. her mouth is golden where it touches the river, choking prayers in lungs. we lie beneath and this is what graves breathe: moonlight girls with coal dust skin, clawed eyes & broken teeth. above us, the town is made of lights. we weld bones together, hold fast to the soft skin on backs before it bleeds. I raise the sieve over her head and rain metal into the cracks of her body.