in a galaxy of teeth
we live like gods.
the stars gather to ask us
for our guidance.
writing in the dust,
we tell them to keep going.
eat the reddest fruit
& lick our fingers clean.
when i plan where a system will grow
i consider only the sounds
those animals will make.
sometimes an animal is
a dead river. other times
an animal is someone who wants
more than the sky can give them.
i am an animal.
sometimes, i wish i could
give myself rain.
other days i am grateful
to be someone who does the giving.
a particularly needy star
comes to plead for
a sister. i give it to her.
oh to have two suns to believe in.
the brief lives of exoskeletal creatures.
i have a jar of millipedes that
i consult when i need to talk
about legs. going somewhere is the illusion.
i tell the star how & when to turn.
pillows are all full of wings.
taking a single piece of thread
& sewing each galaxy to the next.
imagining trapeze artists
making their way into a different breathing.
sometimes i am tired & i think
"what if i stopped?" the stars would
come to shake me. would plead
& plead. no, there is no going back
to before i had hands. when i was
just a fist imagining rooves
for bison to live beneath.
a trap door telling jokes.
an attic full of photographs.
i take a handful of dust &
set to work. the universe wears
only dresses. i put lace on the hem.
the universe tells me with her mouth
open, the gifter of teeth,
"make me a world where everyone
is not afraid."