hello, I’ll admit to me. the self propagates — I did it,
my thighs expanding in concentric circles, fatty tree rings,
nesting dolls of unshed skin, trapped inside
ghost versions of myself. anything overripe
will rot: grounded fruit. the moon waxes
and then melts away into a crescent hangnail. mama,
your body must have done this, flushed me out when it became too much.
swollen in your sadness & then slipped through you.
hungover or withdrawn, regardless my DNA needs
watering. like if you’re thirsty how thirsty. what river
do you lack. this is an heirloom too: eyes
that are bloodhound bloodshot, half-hearted veins
splayed & reaching to your cornea but,
you & I, we won’t say it, instead
I’ll chew my cheeks & draw iron,
pool saliva, grind an alphabet skein as knotted
as chromosomes between my teeth. masticated helix,
sordid dribble down my chin with every I’m sorry because
meaning leaks. amniotic from each word that cracks out of me
the way you carried me in your stomach until it split
and your rains spilled over everything. leached the ink
from my scratchings, and now fissures. canyons. dirty trickle-down,
my apologies my angries my self run together, all this time
pretending there was someone to blame when
my body began to crest like a wave about to break —
can’t find a place for my accusation, wandering
like an antibody that’s forgotten what poison it’s for.
but there’s still this — this bile festering in my stomach — the nights
you pour down your throat and go slack — nowhere to set it down.
even so, with this rusty mouthful, I would forgive you
in any language, except forgiveness.