Begin here,

— Sara Luisa Kirk

hands a terror I can’t live with. Day as deficit, miserable sprawl, a thinness.

I try to make a space that loss won’t occupy, but you found them in the fig, pouring out between fingers.

Wanting nothing more to do with it, the part that steers while something else decides to drive forward.


hurt merely sings of it, broken through like the stitched rib of a hole you sewed in a shirt.

What nourishes, what doesn’t. I abandon both. Small anchor thrown into a rough sea. Was it irrevocably, or am I to revoke it?

You claim to know with whom I am supposed to belong, but I’m still here working at your little pearls of knowing:



          supposed          to,

          supposed to.


in the cloud-induced disparate shade. Tea made only for the warm ceramic to press upon the mouth.

I sit beside the banana tree consigned to its dried leaves, piled in old sheets of itself. The selves I no longer am nor understand but still hear each time the wind lifts.

There, a palm long past ripe for falling. We could watch it fall, call it nothing.


guardian of green, as if managing a color might mean softening the little losses.

So much out beyond it, the baby bird all mouth. Not every call is asking to be answered.

A field, you standing in it. I refuse to be your reason.

I’d rather be a muscle inside of something that doesn’t try to hold on.


beneath the frangipani I couldn’t reach, didn’t try to. Already one too many totems.

Why not a bridge to cross? Why a fire?

Linger, a word. Difficult, another. All the wrong sentences, I say them on purpose.

Even the ants creeping close for a while.

This sequence borrows the phrase “the selves I no longer am nor understand” from Maggie Nelson’s poem ‘Something Bright, then Holes’ and also borrows and alters a phrase from Karen Green’s book Bough Down.

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