when i played guitar, my fingers were
a bestiary. i sat in my bedroom listening to
death cab for cutie, trying to follow
each chord change. at night, i bleached
the love poems out of my hair. i was sixteen
& i had too many fingers to keep track of:
salamanders & newts & toads. all of them looking
for water. reading my chord book, i pictured
every neck as a stream. my fingers, skipped stones.
i was never very good. couldn't press down hard enough
on the blood. strummed clumsy as a minnow. still,
i miss the way i thrummed, animal & thirsty.