Earlier, a hare sunk her haunches
into the snow

and kept still long enough to vanish.

When she became fog,
you were at the throat of a frozen river

and saw, somehow, yourself unbloom.

You know what it means to slink
into another noun,

you know how to pull down a tree
with only your teeth,

jaws snapping roots until fingernails
can pick away the clay.

You know what it means
to unhome a body,

to collapse a pillar that may have, one day,
become a tower.

This will always be your first line
of defense:

clipping your longings until you billow
and reed,

loosening your reflection from winter ice,

staying hare still
until there are no trees left at all.

Taisosai Hokushu, Moon; White Hare in Snow (1819). The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alycia Pirmohamed

Alycia Pirmohamed is currently a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her forthcoming chapbook, Faces that Fled the Wind, was selected by Camille Rankine for the 2018 BOAAT Press Chapbook Prize, and she is a previous winner of the 92Y/Discovery Poetry Contest, Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest in poetry, Adroit Djanikian Scholars program, and Gulf Coast Prize in poetry. Alycia received an MFA from the University of Oregon.