~after Adrienne Rich
Time takes hold of us like an updraft,
feeding a storm’s anvil
flashing white with hammer strikes,
cloud a giant Man-o-war crackling
lightning beneath translucent skin.
These days drag their fingers
through my cheeks like a chalkboard.
So slowly I am hollowed out,
mined for resources.
This flesh, an eggshell,
to move is to fracture fault lines,
to chip and flake like old paint
on a porch swing. I bite
my nails, I wait for the scent
of burnt ozone, the raised hairs
bristling with static and nervous chill,
the oxidized nuance of rain,
coaxing me back into bed.
I feed the sky smoke,
I am the charred trunk
of the tree of Life.