This work first appeared in Yemassee 22.2.
hiding it in the wall, encased in patinaed jewel and silver—
this means I love. This means don’t cry. Listen: spindled
bone like bramble, whistle-dust, molted feathers stroked
to beak. Wood-moss, thread-moss, tongue-leaved gland
moss, listen: breathes and glitters. This must have been a
story: my vocal chords blanched. The juniper berries
overripe, burst open. Ooze of sugar-drip down their plump
bodies, down bark like smoke lines, darkened. There must
be a name for how to swallow. Swallow on the terrycloth,
soaked in wet wind, clothesline festering mold. Undefiled
thistle. Heather. Thyme. A dram of knotweed raw-rooted,
clutched in slumber. Scudded up from the ground.
Lauren Loftis is an MFA candidate at the University of Montana. She has served as an editorial assistant for Copper Canyon Press and as a poetry reader for CutBank. Her poetry is forthcoming from The Boiler.