As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
Long ago, in the garden of a man who tried to kill me,
I tended watermelon, green pepper, tomatoes as blighted
as hurt. I was young enough then to want to grow
into a coyote fighting a dog, into an earthworm’s
five unsaddened hearts. Nights now, I still dream
of the Rapture, of vanishing into a life I might survive.
But you are alive here with me. From his pulpit in Kansas,
my wild-eyed uncle urges me to consider the miraculous,
but this is the only miracle I know. I am trying to plant
you in the valley of bones that do not break, am trying
to hide you from harm in the shadow of my own fat body.
Somewhere, Lauren, is a wilderness of unbroken things:
fine china, umbrellas, snail shells, saltine crackers. And deer,
untouched by gun season, that do not know to be afraid.