iron in the soil and the grass
won't grow. Impatiens will falter, swelter
in the dusty kettle. Too much metal in the water
and doors swell in their frames. Spoons bend
backwards and the kitchen smells of fever.
Sediment in the iced tea, and a girl begins
to see things. Bluish shadows peeking
from beneath quilts. Flies gathering at her hem.
Yesterday, she bled through three dresses.
Pinwheel heart and lockjaw. Even the bodies
pulled from rivers are woundless, immaculate.
Rinsed clean as the bones of old pickups,
the ghosted acres of tires.
Door to door, amnesiacs wander in the low hum.
The collision of their bodies sparks brushfires.
Pallid tongues move from mouth to mouth,
unzipped, their breath scissored and alum.
This poem appears in the chapbook Feign,
published in 2007 by New Michigan Press. Order [here].