Unaware of the day’s movements, she paints her
reply to the bracelet of light flaring above
the horizon. Tomorrow’s edict is gather,
as in retrieving a sister’s bones in black
rain, reassembling in thought
a smile that could not endure despite
its beauty. I seek a place
of nourishment and find empty bowls.
What is the symbol for peace, for planet?
How do we relinquish the incinerated voice?
Under the vault of ribs lie exiled words, more
bones, and beneath them, relentless darkness.
And whose bodies mingle in this earth?
Whose tongue withers from disuse?
The eight muscles react to separate stimuli,
four to change shape and four to alter position.
Turning, she places the brush on the sill
and opens the window to the breeze.
Exit the light, exit all prayer. Ten strokes
form breath. She does not taste the wind.