this morning, i pluck peonies
from my father’s throat & watch it turn
into an old lover’s hand upon the water
like a moon that wouldn’t heal.

as a child, my country was a roof that’s always
collapsing. how it spreads on my mother’s
face—a brief dazzle of pink light like
rapture in a stranger’s eyes

how memory is a heart that has forgotten
to sing—a bare precis & the isolation that any
alignment of pain can trigger when they are
carved out of grief

what do you do when your body is a pistol
or rifle pulled apart? since most of us bloomed
out of sorrow like swans always bent on pond water
i am afraid of attending a place now green with mold
but still edible for some

after dinner with a friend who dreams of dragons
dancing over a fence. i come home to touch my sister’s
sweltering body & i am imagining how one can ride a bullet
toward eternity with a Greek chorus of soul

even now, i open up & shut like a house with only hurricanes
moving through it. reminding me of communion as a child
where we’ll stop to mislay our moistures on other’s necks