Some People Can’t Stop

by Erin Slaughter

jabbing themselves in the ribs & hiding

their eyes in pots of flour. Someone’s mother


is a moonrock they worry

in their palm & promise with great difficulty


not to swallow. It’s easier to know an object

separated from the guilt of looking


directly at it. The window has not

been half-glass for a long time. Through it, fields


of yams & grain betrothed to future

androgynous meals. The rain sleeps around us


chemical as we wrestle dandelions

from their follicles, discard the bald men


to their seedy offices. I’m sorry

there’s a sinkhole in your kitchen, but I need a person


who will pull my hair & mean things

when they say them. What’s devoted


to etched memory was never ours

for long—mountains a useless collection


of tusks across the mouth

of nostalgia. I hear it’s anyway good


news, I hear the goldfinches

are coming & forgiveness


slunking in like the old bear it is,

with two teeth left & a bullet


in his cheek. Biding time, waiting

to corrode that bitter gunmetal into hope.