Brace Impressions

Leaving, leaving a red, raised seatbelt strap shadow

Behind, and getting longer while walking

Over stiff absorbent rubber tarmac

Kentucky sour mashed with black fleck fragments of stone

Looking like melted stone

Looking like the garbage stone

Some other good ground has expelled

From its body to conclude a day’s illness


Every curling protest that the unwell body makes

Every time a neglected pose demands to be formed

Speaks to the fact that

The healing does not occur with the expulsion of the irritant

But with the examination of the brace impressions

Left by the placeholding gear that stilled our restless contortions

During the worst of it


She has four small lines like fingernail marks

(Only straight, plain lines, not arced)

For footprints

Because she is really afraid of insect evolution

And would feel so stripped from scripture if she were once



Even though we understand that nature is divinity manifest and even though we marvel at sunlight-on-leaf

The fear is always the fear of becoming larval

And awful to the eye and ear

And heart

Of, even, mother


I am looking too closely at the ground

And feeling how the sound around me has grown damp and rich

In the air

Much as fresh baked goods are

With oven air like a thousand kilos of scent

Condensing onto the my closed-eye smile:

Droplets along my cheekbones

I’ve come into the kitchen while the baker rests.

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