Open my mouth & watch the mouse-trapped shake,
splayed before dogs — I am
peeled from the butcher's midnight eyes.
Persistent scalpel— I will thorn soft
these ill-illuminated pleasures.
The mouth whips. The mouth
whips itself clean with wind.
I knife your words into trees & repeat them backwards
to feel, thieve ear to breast
like a cheat. Today I hunger
for the smallest sheen, hunger for leaves backboning
a chain-link fence.
A shattered-foot ballerina, I cross
lipped, slopping my ruby hooves. Birthing children
piece by piece, I live by fortune
cookies, blizzards & scars.