Kittens are just a starting point that can fall away like the floor beneath my feet, solid then suddenly a single tile
lilypad over a precipice
valley so deep it seems bottomless
as the pit in my stomach where your voice is still
At night I am a clean glass doorwith your fingerprints smudged across, frost like lace, ice so thin my breath shatters it. I want to tell you this but you’re falling away, ears and mouth tiny and distant, eyes wide but cloudy. You say you’re listening but I can’t tell if you’re even talking to me.
My body is a stagnant pond waiting for spring again, waiting
for a dam to break upstream and for new water, new life. But upstream there’s only a man on a dried up river bank, eyes closed in a face like pale bark. I walk by and his eyes open. So does my body.
I try to remember
how to run. I try to remember
anything. My body
is just a starting point, my voice is just a starting point, my mouth is just a point of light in a vast black sky, one distant boat on a calm ocean, no land anywhere, just one body floating and one pinhole of light on the curved horizon where water and sky meet but are so close tot he same color they are one world.
Eventually I sink,
the bottom fallen through, and I’m a lump in the open throat of a giant, her body full of wind and October apples, leaves already changing, blowing past me as she breathes. I’ll make my home in her open chest, sit in the space between her heart and lungs weaving blankets to hang on the walls of her ribcage, her pulse a song so close to me I think it’s stuck in my head. I make a home here, let the spiders move in and hang their hammocks in the corners, refer to her body as my house and apologize that it’s never clean, sweep bone dust under the floorboards before you come to visit. I tell you this and you tell me I’m crazy, lay me down on your kitchen table and pull apart my ribs to show me there’s nothing there. “Don’t worry,” you whisper, your eyes like June bugs, dark jewels humming in the air. “Don’t worry. It’s just a starting point.”
My heart is in your hands. I ask if it’s still beating but you don’t hear me over the noise. You just bow your head, lips to the floor. “This is home. This is home. This is home.”