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Pyroclast


[clock] 1-MINUTE READ ISSUE:  Summer 2017

 

moves away from a volcano at up to 450 mph with temperatures over 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit.

When my body blew open
the shadow-glass cloud
galloped through me, glittered

my blood to boil. Pain stretched
through its own opening,
wheezing but alive, slick

with my insides: a newborn foal
I nursed on my own milk
and licked dry after rain

fed parts of me I could survive
without—a finger, a tooth,
the end of my tongue—

but still it tried to climb back
inside, reverse as a breath,
a scream, and still every cell

in me was a cupful
of poison dividing itself
until at its cry my skin

parted for the animal,
and, exhausted, I let it come
home. A heart can beat

outside a body. So can a wound.
Nights, it climbs out of me
to run with its kin,

trailing my blood across fields,
which yields bruises
of larkspur cows eat and die

and though I hide from it
I’m relieved when it returns to sleep
in me, when I wake to feel it

breathing through my lungs
like a dark pool in a cave
that ripples without wind.

 

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