first, take a fistful of hair

From Poetry Magazine

first, take a fistful of hair

By francine j. harris

Listen first for anyone. Fill your pockets.
Measure the ditch with a wad of gum. Listen.
Stay still. Break open the gate with your fist.
a backseat to torch. Ditch it. You will need
someone, still. but later. from a pay phone. for
the rope. Empty your pockets. Check for wild fur
and the pant. who wad seats. or possums who hiss
under wild shrub. Sharp shooters check the wind.
So measure your mouth. the curve of howl. drool
and its drop against the wooden tiles. Possum
under salt and pine. Screech it. Score the rope
with your teeth. Collect the drool in tin.
Check for rust. Pull out the nails. Wait
for the wood to sag of blood. to good and stalled.
Mount the mouth. slip down. Slide under
sludge, until the caves open and break. and
salt your wounds. and play the black cricket.
and nail on the stars. Run low to ground.
until your hairs unseat. and your cheek
full of shotgun howls. and sags. and,
and touches its own blood to light.
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