Sometimes Sister, you have plucked crocuses
from my throat. How many evenings have bloated
with flies eking out your fingernails? 

Pests who hallucinated my clavicle as a lake of heavy cream,
suckled it into a season of drought, a bed of fossil. 

From welts you mapped across my back,
smalltowns sprung. Called heartland girl. Harvest moon. 
Other names of false devotion. 

I picked and picked at my skin, hoping to exhume
a landscape without needles and rusted spoons. 
All I found was a midnight forest. A noose to cut.

You were unsatisfied until I swallowed
the rope. It's knot tying and untying beneath my breast. 


R. Cassandra Bruner