i swallowed my name like a key.
every forest buckled & match stick.
feeling for the furrow between
what happened & how repetition
will unravel our journey across
the sea. you walked on water or
i tied myself to the ship's bow.
mermaid feasted on our ankles.
she used to tell me a story
in bones--tracing each moment
across my skin. the night is made
of everything we decided not to remember.
ghosts with their chariots of after.
i buried each prince
like a tulip bulb. witches half
emptied with their jaws left
to make up for the wanning moon.
there is a barter to be made
with the dragon. his treasure,
a mountain of grandmother jewels.
the faces of the trees urge us
"go back to your spine."
we can't decipher what that means.
animals talking to each other.
passing guidances to run for higher land.
i don't believe in parables
at least not when there is
so much to be unlearned.
a talking bowl pleads for rain.
the clouds crawl away on their bellies.
fairies leaving their wings
on the arms of trees like cicada shells.
we had little chance with magick.
i tried my face for a talking
basket of plums. the last witch
who could reverse this
is now a cup of ash. i carry the basket
down a long dirt road
through the wood.