we keep saying goodnight and rolling down hills instead
of applying tourniquets to bedtime wounds, waking
up at the bottom just to shake the trees clean of peaches
again come morning, ignoring the primal aches in our bellies.

we’re not just eating, we’re suckling—
all of the pathos nature has to give us.

we know we’re just one loose brassiere strap
away from being orphaned again, howling
at the feet of our mother, begging to be captured
by that taut embrace and shielded from all evil.

what happened to betting on injured dogs and weakling
horses? i’m tired of hero-takes-all, little guy walks
home alone. i want trophies on the shelves of corner store
clerks, the newly sober, battered women and terrible poets.

i’m tired of saharan tear ducts and remarkably straight
spines, spotless skin free of cracks from a lover’s whip. give
me your tired, your poor, your scoliosis-riddled
and medicated. i want them to teach me how to sing.

i’m tired of letting it simmer in the small
intestine and rot me out. i’m projecting what little
honesty i can still muster towards the heavens—
no more chewing and swallowing.