It was like dying. Or terror falling from the skies in Guernica.
Or the yearning of prisoners, how she fell out
of herself, sometimes, forgetting
her name. The feeling was worst when she wanted to be loved
by her origins, mother and brother, the whole congregation who
called her like some claim, or
speaking her out of her own form, and into their mouths like
traps. Shut up
she said, shut up. You’re in Dubrovnik.
I can’t hear you.
She went into the woods. The butcher bird
fixing its prey upon a thorn
another on a forked branch.
So many dead bees under a tree
where the butcher birds had dropped them,
just a waste of violence for its own sake, a kind of
It was not always kind to know another,
how knowing could seal someone’s self to itself, immoveable,