When you sleep you clutch at yourself.
Your hands move to seize and
curl into your torso like willful roots
as if to wage, to own, to cherish, take
and win, folded up in weary walls
of silt, too small and
withheld from yourself.
When you dream you sing your earth
asunder, and your skies
glower with spears – you stir
restless, and I will make my home
amid the smallness of your gods
though they cower and mill,
though mine is brumal blood
that does not sing so much as tumble
down its scales; you came a rising
murmur, yours the thrum of counterpoint.
I have taken, then, to holding your frontiers.
Understand – I am born of bitter barley,
of tar that paints a deepening dusk inside
my body like ashes made to flower on
the wall above a fireplace:
I will not be unmade for you before your
blackened hearth, or for your eyes
that taunt a throng of wretched gods
each night before you sleep.