“Kneeling” by Patricia Kirsch


When I look at you there
kneeling on the floor, your body
surrounded by forks and spoons
your sweater pink like the tender
flesh of your chest, I want to
scream No! Not again! I've
already died with you, you should
be an angel now. But he chopped
your wings, crushed your core like
a little boy squishes a rotten
peach in his fist, the orange and
reddish guts fying everywhere,
attracting the famished black birds. They
descend on the treasure and I wish
I could give you just one piece of gold,
touch your body and not feel scars,
look in your brown eyes and see life. I
pray to god to toss a scrap your
way. The birds peck madly
at the carcass of the peach and I
understand how you must feel, sunken
on the cold floor, a broken shell, and I
couldn't--just couldn't--compel my hands to
paste the pieces together--one
last time.