Leave coins in babies’ shoes. Leave words on scraps of paper tucked inside coffee table books —Dick Allen, “What You Should Leave”
Leave an explosion of supple purple trumpets in a thinning penumbra around you—clots of bunched ink exploding in ecstatic asterisks.Leave sons in cozy classrooms with bottles of glue and tubes of applesauce, their fingers unstickingfrom where they have until now clung to your clumsied legs. Leave the haystack smell of their hairand leave off powering down the mountain, glide with the heedless waterways, become cloud coldand crystalline alongside the hulled motorcars sulking past you, grudging you spacein their petrol deathways. Leave off restraint, sprout branch upon branch of unusable blossom,pink excess dragging your limbs to earth, to loll upon it tongue-like;leave them what you learn to hear: the speech of trees raking the sky’s woolly underbelly, the muddy songsof worms—loam’s fleshsprouts—and naked cicadas curled in clods; give leaveas they burrow into your proximate body; maggots already at work, purpling your comestiblethighflesh; grubs tunneling through watery skull hash, moaning their mortal charms.
Copyright © 2018 by Sharon Kunde
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Sharon Kunde received her PhD in English from the University of California, Irvine in February 2018. Her research on nineteenth-century American literature shares with her poetry a concern with embodiment, relationality, nonhuman animals, and materiality. She lives in Altadena, California, with her husband, two sons, one dog, and eight chickens.
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