Near the bottom of your hollow mouth, / Your cut tongue gathers lizard scales / Like a sunken bucket in an algal well.
Mornings you are the ruins of yourself,
Green calcite. Where the eyes dried,
Two black rooks lie nesting in the grooves
Worn smooth by thousands of hands
Groping toward the brilliant ocean.
Near the bottom of your hollow mouth,
Your cut tongue gathers lizard scales
Like a sunken bucket in an algal well.
Well, well. You’ve learned your lesson
This time, haven’t you? All the monks
Have died, in their single-cell caves
On the mountainside, their rice-bowls
Overturned. What you so often think
Belongs to you does not belong to you at all.
““L’Heure Vert”” from You Darling Thing. Copyright © 2018 by Monica Ferrell. Used with the permission of Four Way Books, www.fourwaybooks.com