we were both born of a dark marsh,
sweet black baths
whistling a stinging song
first heard from a kettle.
rather, i see us in the effect of
a bullet through glass,
a colorless burst rippling over pavement:
the panicked quiet
that always accompanied a sudden Autumn.
i grew up
but with a thick, slow pulse,
a sort of liver stretching and fattening
beneath the skin.
i grew into
a dream of snakes and worms in pale bloomers,
fallen into a psychiatric design
while still too small to see around
the curvature of the earth.
with a boogeyman-mother drunk against the closet door.
without hysterics or condolences,
she is ultimately accepted
as a rat with conscience.