natasha kessler

I’ve always been a quiet girl,
a household kind of violence.

I will not eat from flat hands.
I will not curl around feet.
I will not drown in my own bloodied mouth.

When I touch myself, my fingers
salt and ginger.

Half a bird in my throat
writhes at the bottom of sleep.

Listen, the slight color of its breathing.

—  “Mouthful of Quiet” in Natasha Kessler’s Dismantling the Rabbit Altar
Rain outside traps your legs, makes them grow, thicken
into hardwood ember. We knock to remember. Please
remember you can’t create something that isn’t a deep
piece of you. Animals come back to their cage, their
borough. You never falter here. The reflection of your
mouth won’t fool. You are not often inviting me in for
tea.
—  from Dismantling The Rabbit Altar by Natasha Kessler