O, god of Augusts,
you take. You take
until I am left with tinder grass
and cracked riverbeds. You steal
the sweetness from fire. I lie
on my back in the dust
with my face to palest blue and curse
my own mouth, your chapped hands. I look
at you the way two locusts stare
at each other with flat hunger and know
the emptiness tearing at the other’s throat.
Autumn slipped his hand around my throat
but it was already severed and spilling
cut up words across his IKEA carpet.
Don’t think I wasn’t embarrassed, okay?
Even then, his fingertips throbbed as he
felt the Adam’s apple in my neck, a
gentle, bodily distance between
head and shoulders. It’s a mess.
I can’t speak, or else I’d tell him to either
just snap my spine back together like
Kinnex or Legos or whatever, or
let me go. Drop my head out a window,
make do with the body on the floor like
Nike of Samothrace with her wings
out and her head gone. Why not
peel off my arms too? Make me a
quaint statue of victory, Autumn.
Remember your conquest? Now I’m
silent for the first time and it feels like
testimony. Tell me everything
you thought was true about God, your
Victory’s all ears, even from the pavement,
waiting with the patience of stones to hear any
excuse for this mess of a rug. But instead,
you say “whatever. Just pop your
Zaleplon and forget about it.”