Head of a Woman, 220 B.C.

Sunday like a stretch of dawn you found, held it small and glistening like a slash of something not us in the dried up bed– we were the moths and our wings were that sort of blue-green bruise and the red was still staining us like the dark wet clay we found underneath the pier, the sick damp feeling spreading into our mouths like the honey our priests used to anoint us with before we became unholy girls, that silence like the still uterine quiet of baptism, back when we could still be saved, when your mouth was still a mouth we would get sick off empty sugar packets and let the grains dissolve into illness on our tongues– this was before the midnight telephone hooks, the house gone small with your withering. Feral cats started circling our back doors, trying to sneak in so we newspapered the windows to keep something we didn’t know out, your bandages like small butterfly wings in the dark. This was before I met a girl in a car at night and her car was filled with sugar wrappers– old dried up candies glinting like minnows in the dark ocean of her backseat. After, we walked through a cornfield and she said I just wanted to be holy/I didn’t want to be this way/wrong, she wrote each psalm on her thigh with Sharpie: An abomination/thou shall not lay shall not lay with your same, the slick of the cornfield’s skeins crunching under our feet like small bodies. I etched her name into my arm with her keys and pretended I didn’t. After you left, I stopped eating sugar and started drinking salt mixed with tepid water, filled the house with old stale pastries and let the frosting rot and mold.