Last Body

I can’t leave my hurting skull
Or the rose apple opening inside me.

I’ll count the weeks, months,
Unfurling each numbered day in my hair.

Frost ribbons inside my brain,
Canals push up my leg.

I’m moving on
To what the world needs me to know.

I am the angel trapped inside the bullet.
I am the exit wound trapped inside the angel.

Am I the scarecrow
Perched at the end of the human trail.

I’ll palm cotton between my prayers
Until the universe has passed,

Waving down jellyfish
To volcano hours.

What force propels a bullet
From its chamber. Is it sourced by water

Trickling in a karst cave,
Or is it an angel’s gasp as she flees.

I can’t answer it all,
But my mask grows taller every year.

More Poems by Mai Der Vang