Anya Achtenberg

Issue #
January 31, 2017

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Tell me how it came      you       the zipper      me
racing through your teeth       a shattered costume
on the ground       the crystal swinging
above my hand
Tell me how

you      the dough       mine      the hand
that pounded
and pounded so      you would never       rise       again

the meal
          without bread
                 the shoulder
                          without cloth

Tell me how it happened   you     the throat
me     the necklace    a perfect fit
but for the air
        and the gasps
                   were words
                               as I shook you
                                        with the question

Tell me
how it happened       History       you gasped       buried
amnesiac       your hand

I drank the wine       the carpet
bloody       I drank it

When they came       dressed       in all one cloth       history
you gasped       I       can’t       breathe       your history

They heard it       She fell I said
We drank wine
watched the rising       waters       from the window

She had a weapon       I said       Of course
they said       She fell       she wanted
to die       and the evening
is getting on

They left you       didn’t want to muddy
the carpet with their boots
that knew the rising waters

          the clay ground yielding bones

You were the teeth
and the zipper       I ran through

I would be bulldozer
You would be home

I could not settle

The teeth      sang on
about breath       life       history

The uniforms left       the world drew
darkness to itself       I had never seen
A splendid ebony       lit with stars and voices

I lay down in the rising

        The earth would flower

                    and I would be gone

I had moments       to do a new thing
could not think of it

I was the teeth
in the ground then       always
hungry       always      dreaming
to devour

But you told with your last breath
as the child watched
and became truth
and comfort
and power
rising undeniable
as the blood
soaking the white

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