birth time

fingernails align & a planet
becomes a ring box. i ask 
for ciphers & symbols. throw a fishing net
out past the last star we've named.
seasons hang like canopies.
as we all were
i was born in the year of a great snow
& my bones took their headlights
from drifts. my answers often live
before their questions
in caves & gorges. to open each july
like a parade of canned peaches.
i read my palms & find signs 
of fracture. trapeze nightmares.
sifting in each migraine 
as if it were a fossil river.
there must be a reason why
i crave thunder. there must be 
roots of my need for binding 
every animal who looks my way.
there is a suitecase filled with gems
& it opens over & over.
people scramble like ants 
to take what they can. this is how
my body opens for me. what can i scoop
from a stream of moon light? 
when venus speaks, does she 
hold my name like a pearl 
or a bucket of snakes? let's not
trust our memory too much though.
our tree lost all her limbs
in the front yard the day 
i was born. the pile remains there 
in me: a sanctuary where 
nothing has to be clear away.

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