by Hadara Bar-Nadav



The sex of your wild

black knot.


Maple whorl.


Molasses flame

crusting through pores.


Pitted. Weathered.


A brief season

until you hunch


and split, bored,



Who will build

a house for you,


a chest for your

hardening heart?


Wrung by years

and rope swings,



of the finest papercuts,


blooms of smoke.


You waver between

burning and blue—


              half buried

              in this earth,


              half in and out

              of hell.


Sentinel who sways

herself to sleep.