Natalie Eilbert

And as if you were left in a clearing,

Say beauty. As if these woods were fulcrum,

Say facts, the twine leftover. As if we were close

To our reddest edge, say vacate, mean escape,

Teeth-skinned and donkey-jawed. Say violence.

A last laugh. As if there is need for an alibi,

Say home, mean house. As if neither could burn.

Say fallen, as if it were a branch already

Mulched and turned. (You're boasted, detached)

As if beauty, the cartilaginous blue,

Could be anything but a heft. As if evidence

Weren't the cud-stunk cattle, the famished meats,

Moor-lines spitted with smoke, say sanguine,

Mean overdrawn. As if death were more than

A procession, less the epilogue always

Sleeping it, say you'll walk the dark tonight and mean it.