WE STOP WRITING ABOUT THE MOON
We stop writing about Jupiter, about the undertow of rings.
We stop listening to jazz, sew piano strings into our calves.
We bleed silver coins. Our bodies are answers. We scoop mirrors onto our skin.
She said that a baby is not a woman’s body. The baby does not attach itself, is not you. She said that the baby is its own body and knows it.
Blood lines sheets.
He broke a plate by the river. An exploding flower.
We stop writing about petals, fleshy blades.
She said god haters wore black and ate fog. The fog is the god hater’s favorite breakfast. They make documentaries
over these things. Watch them on TV channels where god haters are eaten in small forkfuls, where god haters are being fed to babies, one finger at a time.
Photosynthesis weaves sad wounds. We continue to mate in empty laundry rooms, in shower stalls, in elevators. Our bodies surprise us. Babies become babies when we show them how.
We have forgotten sky. How far we used to drive to get from one state to another.
Our fingers are our weapons. The only way we see ourselves in pieces.
We stop writing about mood rings. Pull of Mercury. Pianos and remission.
She calls her friends on the phone. Tells them she found another one. She will turn this one. Fetuses line the walls in the grocery store, their decay a scent of bananas and powdered sugar. She will not see the fetuses no matter how many times she walks by.
Consider the way a stapler works to hold things together. Imagine the ripping.
We stop holding hands like lovers. Sometimes we laugh at people on bicycles. We erase our laughter. Replace it with bandages.
BEFORE YOU DIE
A bird staggers in the bathroom, flapping against the mirror like you’ve done so many times.
We wake to feathers, the tile draped with galaxies. We drop them out the window, watch them land on concrete without disintegrating.
A lure of bones and beaks.
The moon wipes memories with olive oil. Smears them across the ground.
Only days before, I find you molting on our bedroom floor, the sound like ripping silk. How do you say earthquake after shedding love letters?
You look in the mirror one last time, pull barbs and quills from your cheeks.
Behind you, I adjust your beak. Your crying is like crows stumbling over lakes.
An empty bird cage on the window sill. Later, I’ll discover your nail clippings and a paper doll sitting upright, waiting to be moved.
Mary Stone Dockery is the author of Mythology of Touch, a poetry collection, and four chapbooks, most recently Aching Buttons and Blink Finch. She currently lives in St. Joseph, MO. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.