after Aldous Harding
Like a pencil held between two fists, I break
the news. The news is splinters
on the floor. The splinters are
a yellow that went looking
for good fortune and came
back with an aphorism: the eager
cook salts her soils. A broom in one
hand, I drink my meager midnight suspension.
Against the windows, the wind knocks with
a questionable tension. I offer
my guests a jar of pickled
plums as soon as
the first deed is done.
Together we’ll confess to
the vultures with the correct sour
scent on our lips. I have three voices to choose
from: one for the fruits of labor, one for the spoils
of war, one for the rot which unites them.
The ground is wet under my
back, though the grass
is dry. My friends are
asking after me. They collect
one-word answers. I laugh to scare off
the consequences and the consequences laugh back.