[he burns my journal…]

he burns my journal in his mouth, his head a pot-
bellied stove where memory goes to die. swallowed
by flame, all recollection of the past year turns
to oily, ashen fragments. they stick to my dried
twig hands, black and gray leaves. my mother
said never trust anyone who came out of the birth
canal the wrong way. the hemispheres of his skull
pushed up against each other, miniature earth-
quake. what made his mother name him so, why
that arrangement of letters? so many curves to
learn when writing first names, following the line
to the end of the page. spit out the charred bits
of my adolescence with sharp-shocked hands on me,
fingers fitting perfectly between the slats of my ribs.
he touches my elbow with his hand and my hymen
immediately breaks in ecstasy. i smear blood across
his television eyes. he leaves: footprints of static,
a pile of ash.


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