Preparation ritual

Preparation ritual: You must atlas the vessel before burial. Sweeten 

                                                                                                the thread that joins 

             the feet to the throat. From the groundwater in the uncontacted soil, draw out tasteless precious metal 

that slides through your hands 


blessed Anthony I’m talking to you because I’ve bent myself like this before. And because there is 

                        something sleeping in my throat, 

                        a warmth growing 


                                                                    like butter. Invite this glowing substance into your blood. Let it eat 

                                                                    the unlocking muscles, not so different from plant fiber. Let it fill 

                                                                    the chips and ridges and reach the cool center 


When I smoke, Anthony, feel it stir. 

When I speak, feel it curl 


of the bone. Braid your hands into the reeds around you                   

                                               The something burrowing in my blood? His back 

             lit through the window. 

                                     Anthony let me forget let me not 

                                     call his name in the grocery store. 

             A river will blink back at you. Let that be action too. The river will 


replace the ribs. Let me forget the ridges 

of his first teeth. Watch the pitted sand 


                                                                       remove itself 

                                                                                    from the creases of your palms.  

                                   It’s raining and our hands are backboned together over the gearshift at a stoplight. It’s  

                                   raining on TV and I’m still waiting. I’m waiting and the weather is failing to comply.  

                                   Anthony, I’m pushed right up against my skin. 

                                                                                                          Kiss the wrists, thick 


                                                                     with mud and oil. Look, 

                                   the repeated image of a consecrated body.  

                                                                     Look, Anthony, 

                                               there is nothing left to consecrate.