The pall of black loam coats my stomach, allows filthy
crane feathers to grow through my lungs, absorbing
my vital arteries. Beneath, half-opened milk crates
pickling my bones begin to dehydrate, cracking my first
and failed engagement to a Navy sailor whose brain was
bustling in salted waves…and now, I’m not sorry to admit,
I hate the US military. Fuck the US and fuck what services
these assholes think they’re “doing for the country,” we’re
Protecting hearts, saving families! Really. Who does PTSD
think it’s kidding? Then the uniform delicately places bouquets
of foxglove and succulents in the barrels of oak whiskey.
The loam takes a sip, or two, has the same look in it’s
eye, the glazed-over, cut-up-heart-strings look you had
when I asked if you were excited for your second son
and you answered “not really.” One milk crate busts,
tells me when I was sixteen, the kitchen manager at
Outback Steakhouse gave me his best life advice: don’t
marry someone just because you have a kid with them.
The milk crate says “I regret it every day.” Autonomy is
knowing not to marry the first limber branch that offers
you sparkling grape seeds. The milk crates won’t learn
this until we all slide like a hail storm and curse like the sea.