A toothless moon on 43rd Street—somebody is crying, sirensin the city. I saw the color of your eyes. I saw you,kneeling in the brambles, sewer-rotpainted on your ankles, all tooth and skin and razorbladelike the jack knife I’ll use to cut out my tongueif they come for you, if they askwhere you’ve been hiding.Everything splinters. This is a placewhere the dead creak in trees, where their white eyesfollow the ones who howl—their cold,indigo blood. This is my famine—you,crouching in alleyways, broken bottles(God was in the bottles). Smackon black tongue, canines slowly turning brown. We rot like yellowed pumpkins. We shootuntil the barrel jams.
Copyright © 2019 by Kathryn Merwin
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Kathryn Merwin’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Cutbank, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hobart, Passages North, Sugar House Review, Prairie Schooner, and Blackbird. She has read and/or reviewed for the Bellingham Review and The Adroit Journal, and serves as co-editor-in-chief of Milk Journal. She received her MFA in poetry from Western Washington University and currently lives just outside of Baltimore. Connect with her at www.kathrynmerwin.com.