I’ve become many other things but this is what you want
to see: a snail whose spiral shell torn open in that uprising

when animals had to be inspected for unnatural matter yet
still crawling, crawling on an uprooted cactus, then salt. 

There’s no other embodiment and there’s no other way
when you can’t leave your first impression of me, basic 

definition. Spines and ache, slow on, across, through
the skin. And you can hear a wren singing as I crawl 

and you surely understand the song, its imitative twang, 
voice of agony plucked from my very own silence.


Dead friends are curious why I can’t go ahead of this
or just be done. Every so often they’d send photographs
of their body parts: ankles hooked with bull horns,

bloated toes stuffed inside pickle bottle, hands captured
in a way it appears important to hold them—if I could
be scared of how, like them, I will reach the largest 

compound of heaven—and how they’d whisper
brother, hold our hands, take the harmed and harmless
for yourself
—if I could stop repeating this to you.


We were there in the tabernacle of desperation since
the first night of colony, realized stars wouldn’t be a map, 

selves were not taught how to speak our own dialect
and so we never heard our own right but typhoon, your sneeze.

What then is our dialect, a fallen asked and, of course,
fell naturally, shrugged his dirty bones like a tambourine. 

That is our dialect, somebody after colorful hallucination
unhurriedly emphasized while closely observing how 

the dirt of a close companion formed hills with penises,
ovaries of unnamable feelings like dream children, children 

licking the reddish clouds they glissaded on, children telling
each other they won’t hurt each other, how important it seemed 

to tell that, how with one eye pierced they saw each other
bleeding. All night we saw something fantastic happening 

out of us, believed dying is a way to re-create the world, doughty
expression of alternative bodies as depicted by a friend squared 

inside another heard only with this: I’m fine to stop growing here.
It’s reconciliation, a dialect composed not by weather. Nobody knows 

just by being dirty we’re forgiving everybody, even ourselves.
And so, quite importantly I knew I will die but never my dirt. 

An ancient yearning never dies, only bounded it is to wait
for extinction, a young dinosaur hiking my inflamed throat, 

recent to loss, believed to be gone—but still that’s a belief, 
and too proximate, held, held like the right of my left hand.