dwindling parties 
after edward gorey 

i knew we would come apart 
with our bones feeding a herd of gourds.
sometimes i cut myself open
just to see the seeds. lost teeth 
of old animals. the forest around
says, "we were once garden."
"father" becomes a word for morning.
"mother" for huddling close at night.
no one remembers what we are 
to one another. the monsters sing
& we feel called to them. like a piece of ourselves
wandered off & hunches in their burrows.
often i feel i am the whole grounds.
the gate & the depths & the never-getting-out.
watching another one of us be eaten,
i thought, "he is now a hologram."
then, we'll be jummping rope 
& trying to forget the clouds & the buzz
of all the insect nests that grow
on the belly of the thickest trees.
to enter a fence is to become a skeleton.
i trace borders of my life. iron. bark.
flesh. bone. feeding hair to the birds 
for their wicked nests. we came here
to relax. to shed our skin & talk to snakes.
then the air came with all its stories.
one gone then two then three. always 
the flickering promise, "we are safe now."
we are never safe. not while there are
so many mouths. tongues.
statues. masoluems. ghosts. 

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