in the orange pollen yard my eyes
swell like turnips. blood gnawing
angrily at the air. i am a sea
of swordfish waiting to be kissed.
let me tell you about autumn 
& how my skin layered with the leaves.
searched pockets for green. 
lead in my bodies & my skull.
i keep my spare throat 
beside the cutlery. run it under
water in the sink. 
my father thins 
to a deflated balloon
& spirals in broth-thick september.
wears his nose as a pendant. 
who is going to teach my body
to swallow atmosphere? 
inside each of my cells
is a classroom full of folding chairs.
rows of boys. they all pick up their books
& run before the bell has rung. 
i make pills of my family's dust.
find a net to scoop the flitting 
from the butterflies. in the attic
we keep dead photographs
(ones we picked figures from
to use for dinner). empty frames.
i go there to ask bats 
for advice. show them the hives 
blooming across my collar. 
they say ailments can be nice
accessories. my eyes drip until 
i'm feeding a creek. 
water-striders strut across
the flow from my face. i crouch like
an afflicted statue. remove parts
one by one. first the eyes 
then the skin. save blood in mason jars.
i am a nothing in a rib cage. i wait
for all the world to be repackaged
with less fur & less crumbs.
climb the ribs like monkey bars
& dangle upside down. someone
bring me my throat! i want 
to pass the morning by singing. 

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