Author: Michelle S. Lee

I.
You lured me in the woodlight of the afternoon
when the sun fingered the stumps of trees
and I was tired of wandering in cobbled shoes
with a knapsack of beans tied over one shoulder.

II.
Into your hands I came, timid as a dormouse
all gray and thin-furred, all twitchy. Your laugh
showed teeth shiny like waxing moons and I stared
until they exploded into stars and I wished on them.

III.
Drink this, you said, and I did, and fell headlong
into a tin, one like my grandmother kept lard in
before the wolf wandered by, a tight-lidded hollow
of bottomless shine. My screams were loud & silver.

IV.
I am coiled into my skin as a frog in a downpour –
knees inside chin inside breasts inside uterus inside blood,
a surge of sap inside my ear drum. I am swimming
within myself, all tail and eye, tadpoled.

V.
I hear you humming, metal whale sounds that remind
me of orca and a beach there is no room for in this tin,
footprints I left to dissolve in icy lick and froth. They
are guttural, the thrust and press of heel patterned in grains.

VI.
One day, you open the lid. Go, you say, but I am congealed,
stuck to the ribs of slick walls. You shake the tin hard,
rattle, curse, bang on my bones with a hammer, splintering.
But I stay, lips smashed against cheek, cheek inside heart.

.

Learn more about Michelle S. Lee at http://www.daytonastate.edu/ciwr/people.html