I know there is mud between us. I know
what those fingers meansmall strips of pink meat
lifted in fear of my body.
Full summer, bloat of swamp, gray just
past dawn. You think of a stew,
moon-colored. Your sister squats on the sidewalk,
not knowing the secret of water, this hour.
And your parents are back in their bed,
even in dreams summoning hunger,
giving their teeth to the sheets
as they drift,
hoping they dont outlive you.
Green is no monster. Gray is the cousin of light
once removed. Show me your fingers again
this time spread out like a platter, this time
just over your mouth. Say ugly, say girl,
alligator. Say feast. Say what you want,
theres a long dim time.
Theyll say you love me only because
you have your survival confused with mine
no matter, Ill bring my cold jaw down
and youll feel your own mouth going under.
Theres a gray moon down here.
Open for mud, as youll
someday meet hunger. Then youll remember
my kindred body, its shredded field of skin.
Let the mud overcome you. Close your eyes first
to see it. Child, dont ever say danger:
know safety lies in the teeth.