Cherries in my grandma’s yard,
the trim around her windows,
the cistern cap. Safe house.
The less common trillium:
Trillium erectum, wake-robin, stinking Benjamin,
birth root, abortionist.
My preference in lipstick.
Rock lichen. Girls’ knees.
The binding of my first bible,
though I wanted black like the men.
The peeling skin on the barn I’d stare at as a child,
thinking, What if nothing at all existed?
Nothing is its own colour, exiled.
The first time I smelled my own blood
and every time since.
Very few gemstones.
A cold and heavy steak before cooking.
The deck paint on the first home I owned.
The wet gore of what I wrote there.
The parrot’s tail feathers and how I know
he will flaunt your voice after you die.
The faux-Moroccan lamp’s glass panels.
Antarctica’s primordial glaciers.
The stains I scrubbed from the floor
after the cops took my mother again.
All of my guilt, wineglass after wineglass.
A moon I imagine looming
over the apprehensive lake.