Once I learned there was no messiah living in my wrists,
every movement I made
ended with broken chains.
I took to the oak groves on my hands and knees,
swilling the dust of the acorn shells
my palms had crushed.
Even the hills and their tombs grew sick
with the bits of what I smashed against
my forearms, my fits of broken stones.
I exiled myself to the sea
a man would mistake later
for a desert, get lost, and wander over
with storms beneath his heels.
They told me after how my skull was a fountain
where languages I never knew went to bathe.
They told me burning wings beat my throat
free of its own voice.
The man found me howling on the shore
and thirsted so much for a stranger’s love
he sucked the names of hell
right out of my mouth.
I woke in a house my eyes at first mistook for a cloud.
In it, that man dripped from a needle
so thick it took four men to thread it into my thigh.
I learned from him to live in this world
by living first in the bodies of pigs.
Then by living beneath the sea that swallowed them.