Lie flat on your back for ten days, kudzu
starts at your feet, devours you.
We have our own mythology. Gods in the South small enough
to fit into a soda bottle. Smaller than the atom.
Smaller than the freckles in your eye.
Smaller than the nubs of your teeth.
Small enough to shed your skin for skin of damned dogs.
Of snakes. To be lifted off a ladder in a backyard wrestling pit,
crashing to the earth, wings fused into your body. The mythology
of a broken body means no shit work for a while.
Means a check for every month,
cash straight into your body like
oxygen sucked from broken marrow.
Tell us again the story of the trailer bride, who turned into a cicada.
Screamed her tiny wings together as her husband removed
antlers from a buck. Played dirges on his saw, each note bent,
breaking timbres against the animal’s warm body.
Tell us the story of the young hicks who were copping,
and found their way into the backwoods.
And the mountains begged to be put back together.
And the shit jobs never returned, and the hicks never got straight.
The bride with her breast placed to her child’s lips, tell me how a howl
becomes a dumbing, endless hum, how a child can grow a silver crown,
head shaved the next morning,
flakes of silver petals thick enough for feet to disappear,
thick enough for sprouted wings to fan patterns on a pleated linoleum floor.
A bruise on the face slowly heals. A split lip has time to be sewn shut. Your wings itch like phantom
limbs from a phantom body.