sandstone molt

 

I've been excavating

the rib cage of a stranger

inch by inch, I

slip into her alien skin

make a home on the bones of a cage.

 

weaving an elastic, itching layer

will it keep me warm in the winter?

 

As warm as

your letter on my bedside table

postcards from my mother's youth

black bears over greylock

and wondering

if she settled into wedlock.

 

Do I have to

turn my back on blood?

her father asked her home

mine would follow my manifest.

Only two days

Two days of blue air

swallowed up in tiny lungs,

when she gave me to the sunlight

one Adirondack afternoon.

 

My mother, who

led me into pines,

dipped my toes in dew-licked grass,

gave me to the Atlantic and

returned me to the Wapack.

2018.