In the bleeding berries on the nettle-hill
where pond was a ruse for calm
I gave voice
to what deadened the field what ended its green
said the word assault, prettier than r____.
The thing shrank from its essence.
The words took breath to say this pushing air away
(as though to dislodge it from the skin to dislodge his breath from your face his voice
from your ear as though to remove space as though to accord you your own space)
Breath lost in one swift pull of winter.
After I said what I said said the word
assault was prettier. Assault was less
invasive. R____ would mean admission and surrender.
The words took breath
(Hush, hush. Come, forgiveness.)
-portrait as flooded field
the mud it eats
and in the middle of summer’s
wrap winter’s grave still
cradles the seed in a coffin
so distant the return of image
from the mirror all paced out
and certain in its placement setting
so much like midnight
crows awatch from the tree that edges
the woods light a star-
pointed reflection in their eyes