never have i ever grown fig trees in the wintertime, never have i ever kissed you & not tasted
my own blood.
& oh, how no one wants to play games anymore; & oh, how i press my palms to the speaker
& ask the river to flood.
everything everything dies in the right mouth, she says— & someone somewhere sings about the summer;
everything everything dies in the right mouth, she says— & someone somewhere builds a birdhouse
behind their lover’s teeth.
& dear, how we’ll write odes to the polished oak tables we buried beneath our biting fingertips & feral weekend
tongues, one day. & oh, how we’ll call that hunger—
so give in give in to the crashing night & watch how the antelope’s neck breaks between the
jaws of the lioness: a body, willing to be spilled like survival like loneliness like home in the dark
& someone somewhere sings about how she carries her cubs like
would be kings—
all you need for a funeral is a body: a body willing to hold everything everything we tried to grow in other seasons.
An avid introvert & full-time carbon-based life-form, Ashley Cline crash-landed in Jersey 29 years ago & still calls that strange land home. Her first chapbook, “& watch how easily the jaw sings of god” is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press, & her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes. Twitter: @the_Cline. Instagram: @clineclinecline.