as in "life" but not 
two wheel & a basket of plums.
for describing the persistence
of buds growing from my neck.
once, we raised tadpols 
in the bathtub. watched their legs
as they slowly emerged. 
beneath any skin there are 
so many limbs. growing pumpkins 
in the basement without
a speck of light. they turn
ghost & roll up & down stairs.
meaning repeated grief or
revelry. i'm holding a seance
for my sixteen year old self.
there she is with a mouth full
of chicken eggs. air too 
moves in race tracks. coming back
to where you were before. 
a snake loose in the house.
replanting dead shoes & waiting
from a fresh box to emerge.
if only it was true. if only
everything returned pristine
after a certain number 
of pirouttes. i walk a nest of eggs 
around the block three times.
by the third i have an eagle.
then there is the other kinds of return.
how, even after we cleaved apart
i craved the burning corners 
you set for me. bear trap in the kitchen.
suitecase of your favorite knives.
you, showing me each sharpness
before putting them away & asking innocently
"why do you say you're afraid."
we crave the familiar even if it means
again becoming a corn husk doll.
i am more flammable than ever.
in a nest at the back of my closet
i save a bluebird egg. sleeping & safe.
talk to the egg. tell her
"you can keep your bones
all to yourself." shut the door.
take a walk around the block
& search the ground 
for signs of whatever season
will ask next for a set of keys.  

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