We left a sprig of matches in
the siphon to ward off tongues.
Dad shucking Mom till she felt
close to holy. How else would
I know that jaundice smells just
like snakeskin? So I swore all
origin stories were a pint of bleach
nursed through newborn eyes.
That year we tried on burials,
river mud and Miraclegrow, or dried
oak and lighter ﬂuid. A roll of quarters
in my pocket, or your panties in my teeth.
And yes. God yes. If I could make
anything scab, we'd have fewer siblings
rotting in the cistern. Spitting orange
seeds in the mulch, you said "This is
how it works" Planted a hatchet in weeds
with no idea whose throat we'd cleave.