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
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.
there is nothing left to consecrate.