It is the beginning of the story,
or perhaps the middle. Whatever.
It is early, and already I feel
too worn, too heartsore to go on.
I don’t want to tell this story.
My mouth is tired. It rests. It refuses
to open. See how words grow short, and few.
But images, curst and blest images
wrestle in my mind’s eye, shove each other
out of the way, try to come out on top,
to be the chosen one, or the next one,
the one that follows, or the one after.
Dancers in spiked heels, the ballet in black.
Blows. Bruises. Apples. Onions. Meals. Meadows.
Each word a trigger, chained to others, meshed
and meshing. Rhubarb and strawberries.
Jam and bread. Card games and balconies.
A concert program crowded with scribbles,
unreadable words trickled in between
lines of print, a script shouted like applause
or dripping onto the white like a wound.