Fetch the soul out from underneath the body.

He rolls me, extols me, takes the words in his hands.

I caress my health back into my body. I weave a slanted line

and then another. The pastry cutter’s stuck with butter.

Autumn’s quick here, painful, bright. The loom in the garage

pieces itself back together. The loom in the garage was broken

long before we were here to see it.


The women’s circles are chatty and warm, children lay between them, covered

in thread, the women circle each other, help until

cement is put up between their mouths.

They try talking through stone, try talking

in stone. Pottery in the kiln shatters from heat and light.

Women circle their children and cry, women moan and carry

the past until it bends.


Poet turned testimony, we bite our words

into ink. They leave and I press

the ink under heavy books as if flowers. I teach

the ink by pressing it into skin. His tattoos

break circles on the floor, concentric

circles leave his arms and

sit on my floor. I roll them back and forth

on my belly, on my lips, I press

the floor into my mouth as I miss his mouth. History is told


in moans, in objects cherished,

women circles celebrated

in half-moon light, then cemented

to dull plaques. History is untold

in moans, women circles to undo

our painstaking lines, to unveil

mazes for our steps to follow,

to brandish, to trample. We are

in charge of our steps. We are too

in charge of our steps.