by: Molly Sutton Kiefer

Time is like basil. It will ease the sting of the

Place it in the hands of the dead. Allow a safe
journey. Did you place it—?

I’m still bleeding. It’s been four weeks.

I reach down after, and all I smell are zoo-pens.
I am the scent of a baboon’s torso. I am terrible
to look at.

Span my hand. Can’t you push the rest? I feel
the build-up like a boil. Like tremors on my
tongue. Marbles of fat.

The green blades burrow up within me. Like
loaves of bread.

Cooking too long will suction the flavor. Add this last.

—in the mouth of the dying.

It’s less blood now. You won’t know it any more.

This is the smell of your flesh. You’ve petaled open.

It will move through.

You breathe. You ache.

You collect more light.