There are songs she memorizes
like the pulling of teeth, gutting their melodies
down to a stutter, defective like God
dressed up for the morning after.
Drenched in an alien scent, something on
the fringes of juniper, she is gin and
tectonic, straining against a punchdrunk
earthquake of a smirk. Aftershocks ripple
like hymnals aimed at the holes in heaven.
The sky is red-faced and pregnant.
Her voice never remembers the rain.
When a piano clangs itself dry,
chordless and somewhere just south
of sober, she can feel winter dancing
a panic across the white flag
of her skirt. Winter is a grudge fuck,
leatherclad and zipper-teethed. It is
a church pew tithing at the wood chipper.
She carries mercy between her knees,
buries a lake bed in her breath just to watch
it freeze. Ice picks have since mined
the detritus from her mouth. Silence
would have sent a crack down her spine
if she was not so well-mortared.
Each of her ribs is a tuning fork, still pitch-perfect,
like bourbon-soaked prayers. If God answers,
He’ll have to fight static on her frequency.