CARVING BODIES LIKE PUMPKINS

Kerri Shaffer

This is for breaching thresholds,

for holding money
and things
like tragedy
too closely to skin.

This was never about organs
or sifting through scars.
This was always about counting the things everyone holds onto,

about relinquishing names
and setting fire to faces.
What is left when the poems have been burned out of bones?
nothing but marrow and feathers.
(why wonÕt anyone say these things out loud?)

There is talk of new moons (push)
fallen suns (puncture)
and parallels (sink)
equators (superfluous)
and people (swell).

There is all of this talk
and no one is swallowing.
Bombs are hanging
in the hallways of throats,
licking their lips and
teasing pools of kerosene
in collar bone dips:
sit still.

The world keeps turning
on its ice pick axis,
defrosting our theories on change
that falls out of our mouths
like cities
and temples,
wishing disease had a simpler name.

This was always about organs
and sifting through scars.
This will always be about counting the things everyone holds onto,

and the things everyone forgets.