Sarah K. Bell


mourning after


torn like teeth from the mound
red & bitter        striking ancient like breath

sinking for speed         
teething for time

taking turns apart & the clockwork bends
beyond measure           the marrow pond of maybe

turn this down
the page, the bed



how eager was the nail through
the wrist of christ it clung           fabled with sinew
& swept into a roman pocket

before the break comes the fracture

these two chicken bones at my wrist begin
to pare              i pluck down from my knuckles



broken hearts are broken knuckles
pieces that splinter to disfigure
the whole          never a cloven piece
of heart the body did not miss

body remembers trails of loose skin dropping to earth
body from body leaves
space         space fills all spaces



to talk to earth is to talk
directly to death           
            or, hell

of orpheus        who held the conversation
& couldn't break it

heard the music             felt it swell
through his jaw & twisted in pain



music is shrewd
has known love & remembers

music treads carefully around the throat             nestles
beneath clavicle                        a single chord sweeps it heartward

music remembers

a minor chord rising
the slide to the twelfth fret & the tremble             brought down
like a curtain or a clasp
a fanfare or feeling

the sun from the rafters



wires springing from the walls
snakes beating against the door

the notes sharpen & narrow like O to 0
a shrinking tumour & static         leaf-hum

eleven snakeskins on the doorstep

my lonechord         housechord         sweepchord         toothchord

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