That’s how I know I’m an intelligent
animal. It’s easy to tremble—a pistil
brushed with a bumblebee’s fur—
and who doesn’t want to be golden,
like pearls of fat glistening in an artery
or a mother’s first milk? I want
to send you photos of dead fledglings
on the sidewalk, those perils of the lavish
season, but we are wrong, a news story
tells me so, explaining beauty drives
evolution, not a mate with an advantageous
beak. I wish I could tell you this. Letters
and novels keep seducing me with
their fantasies of closure, but I like
the way your silence wastes inside me.
I am a grieving animal. Let’s not pretend
souls are beautiful. They’re as ugly
as white petals wilting, crisping
and curling in on themselves
in cloudy water and green-rot. But let
them fall into me like loose change
in a leg cast. What’s broken cannot be
healed with anything but superglue
and imagination, but let it be tended to.
Let it be tender. Let’s imagine a miracle
together at a distance, the reunion
of a pronoun and its first verb. I’m not
over it—the elk’s blood blackens the bottom
of the fridge, and when I wipe it, it leaves
a pink quarter, blood-ghost, hunger stain
in the shape of your birthmark.
I’m a regretful animal. My heart tries
to grow as fast as velvet in May.
It’s trying to attract an ending with
a crown of daisies, an archive
of spring, of wants, of waterfalls,
of woods, good God, I know you
won’t take me back.