In a world that burns
our houses indiscriminately, draws
our exit numbers double-blind,
lets us pull ourselves apart like chicken bones,

even love is a slow-gestating time-
bomb in our guts,
grief growing inside us
day by day unseen.
We can’t decipher
if what we feel is the rest of us
growing in to caulk our empty spaces,
fed by the new light we’re churning in,
or a mass of live wires wrapping around
each part of us we’ve always trusted
to be there.

I trace your tattoos beneath my eyelids.
Wake suddenly at the smell of your shoulder
so strong it must be your ghost.
Cradle an egg in my fingers,
convinced it’s heavier than the rest,
terrified an embryo—slick with feathers,
eyes clouded in aborted opening,
tongue snapped shut—
will tumble out.
Stab it with a pair of scissors
probing, and probing, until
shattering, decimating the shell
to shrapnel.

A yellow yolk slides out among the wreckage
bright as day.