First Thing

You look like a monster, one woman said to another.
The woman was on fire. This is the first of two screws
twisted into a wall. One bus is sent on its route minutes before
the other. This is the first. Thousands of soldiers were lowering
their faces to the grass, as though an exercise
can will an effect. People made their way to the hospital:
a doctor would look at them, and then they could die.
You can dip a line of monofilament into a river.
You can do it twice. The first becomes a second. The second
becomes a third. Three girls stretched out their arms while the wind
sheared their flesh. Sheared, not seared, what was left.
I could have shown you a swimming pool lit with turquoise light.
It was early. It was a mission. It wasn’t the first.

More Poems by Tyler Mills