Here in this house where strapping tape keeps the carpet edge
from raveling, a girl pushes away her breakfast plate.
I won’t need you, she says, her cheeks white as butter.
Mildew spots the curtain’s hem. Beyond the window, the sea spits
up undigested sky.
A towhee hops to a huckleberry bush, bounces on a bare twig like
a child on someone’s knee.
Here in the overcast kitchen the only cheerful thing is the
humming refrigerator. A woman scrapes two plates into
It hurts, this leave-taking, a splinter pushing through skin to air.
Pushing, like a salmon in the net, gills ripped and running
I won’t need you, the girl repeats, forgetting her birth, how
she drowned in the garnet cushion made to keep her,
how her breath came late and gray as spring.