cherry tree branches choking-  across my neck, 
mama says no, don’t plant oak in my chest- 
the earth uproots me still, like twisting stomach 
muscles, i say again-  love, don’t call me friend

my neighbour cries, those houses that fell, 
i wish i was with them, he says, and as do i-

i met a boy by the lake, ready to jump in-
he says death is not afraid, and neither am i as he-
says (brush the hair from my neck // stare into me)-
i shouldn’t be here he said // we should be dead

we say friend and my uprooted belly, a little more 
shattered than before, cries a little louder
and this time, unsure who it was meant for.

Where do the Words Come From?

He asks me, he insists -
“Where do the words come from?”
And I answer him
“They are hidden in the lining of my soul,
threadbare and worn”;
I say
“Like oysters on the bed of the sea,
hiding away their pearls;
If you try to tear at the words,
they will snap shut;
Or like the bashful birds,
they will fly and swirl,
and never give up;
But for me,
they do, they do,
open their petals,
with the gentlest touch;
And let me suck,
out the candied nectar of their poems”;

“And look,
in the garden of moons and stones,
fireflies, those which have not yet flown,
are weaving the letters, together,
their patterns,
are aquamarine, tranquil shores;
And I lay basking,
in the glory of this;
The creation and the created,
evermore”.

He nods slowly, he knows.