Essay on Craft

Because the butterfly’s yellow wing
flickering in black mud
was a word
stranded by its language.
Because no one else
was coming — & I ran
out of reasons.
So I gathered fistfuls
of  ash, dark as ink,
hammered them
into marrow, into
a skull thick
enough to keep
the gentle curse
of  dreams. Yes, I aimed
for mercy — 
but came only close
as building a cage
around the heart. Shutters
over the eyes. Yes,
I gave it hands
despite knowing
that to stretch that clay slab
into five blades of light,
I would go
too far. Because I, too,
needed a place
to hold me. So I dipped
my fingers back
into the fire, pried open
the lower face
until the wound widened
into a throat,
until every leaf shook silver
with that god
-awful scream
& I was done.
& it was human.

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