I wondered about my voice:

Where it lived, if it was mine.

While the pale blue oyster

at my throat made pearls

that gagged me

in my sleep.

Until I woke spitting,

feeling the stones in my belly.

Always unsettled, the nausea

of digesting my own gifts

like a snake eating its own tail;

consuming beauty.

You cannot live this way,

my body told me

when I huddled over the sink

with my fingers in my mouth,


What can I extract, tortured,

from a life of unknowable


There are pieces, still. Coming up.

Asking to be pinned and strung

against my throat

like tiny orbicular trophies.

“See where I’ve been?”

I want to make a dress with it,

to flatten the skins of these truths

into fabrics and wear them.

To press into my skin their elegant

glory, my body shining

like the burning, searing stars

I swallowed to become


Come in, I say,

to the great darkness of my fears…

how it stretches its body across the waters

by my willingness,

its arms taking into itself, all of me…

all of me. I welt, and weep

a little: Tiny drops of wishing,

as I bow into the great weariness

and allow it to embrace me,

holding me in its arms,

lifting up into its gratitude

my whole, snarled confusion

like a lashed body

still bleeding.

“I know you,”

says the part of my soul

I thought was immune to this…

and it’s all suddenly OK.

As if the darkness could never

in a million years

undress me fully.