I think I watched your scales fall off, smelling the frayed glue as they came apart between gravities.

First, one by one.

Then by twos.

Then fives, soon a kept journal documenting words heard and patterns in between numbers.

A scale pressed between each page. Lackluster loose float between corners and centers, moving against rolling waves of lined paper.

One day the binding will tear and there will be a flood.

A bird talks in chirps tweets squawks trills tremors
rotting log red berries stomach worms
casualties of war clouded imprints
pecking order

and fall falling ripped out in turn feathers to down to bare to what lies underneath skin but before their range—

“I’m quite sure there’s something above my bed. It lingers in the shadows and reaches out to me when I’m dressed in pajamas and put down my night book. He’s blind and mute and maybe deaf, but that’s okay.”

“That’s okay?”

“I think he’s just as scared of me as I am of him.”

weighted hunger sits in throat
reaching through a gasp for
repetition a
tin roof’s overhang rain
water waltz in
throat seats
cushioned padding the
hunger reaching
held back

If you are careful, all their scales will fall off.


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