for Joe Wills
I am a frozen whip. I am a bowl of blue rings and swollen melon seeds that urge us home. Home is that dark gray place that sings its silence, that dark wet with too many ghosts. I wait for the whip to drop, for the warmth to come. I am the winter inside and there’s a life underneath I can’t hold.
I run away, run into the tailor of things. I finger the tailor’s scissors. They fall and split, turn to knives that raise me; I face the wolves that didn’t have it in them to raise anything but themselves. Their breath is frigid steam rising from their bellies out through their teeth. I brandish my knives and cut the cold right out. I reassemble the knives into scissors and reach for a new hallucination, a new goatskin. I am the tailor sewing myself a new mask, a new desire.
I still carry the ghosts of wolves. I am the wolf belly bride, swollen to the world, empty inside like a bell you ring for service. I swallow the long tight click of language that fails; I drop myself down and dream the dark alive.
Sara Michelle Williams
A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon