Cartography with Copper & Roses

it begins in palethrift-store velvet dresswrapped around
boylike mannequin // orit begins with bloodthe kind

boy cannot pushfrom their unborn wombtheir body that
only bleedsfrom the surface // &i dip the needle into dusk

drag it through skin tearingit leaves a trail of ash & tarmac //
draw it away soakedin the scent of copper coins //my knees

are swollencrimson for daysfractured skin blooming
into roses //   maybe it begins with hipscollar boneseyelashes

like twitching spider’s legsthe place where thigh & ass curve
into somethingnamelessless location than moment in

flesh // any part of mei can coerce into softness //maybe
this begins & endsin scar tissuelike worn velvet wrapping

my bones // orreminding myself of violence& how it has
passed down to menot just from my father’s handshow

my mother laughs& calls these stilettos anythingbut
a weaponthe way i call themsiblingafter all we

were both born from a knife      //maybe it is the way i have
learnedto reset bones without their breakingset my cheeks

highershave my jaw to a point //& maybe this is not a list of
beginningsbut destinations //a map for dancing around this

dysphorialike a flame //i tattoo compass roses
on my knees& i am always bloomingwhen i fall to the dirt

& bleedtights ripping away from skinlike dawn slicing
the horizoni leave a trail of petalsto find my way home

Quick Change

There is body in the coat closet in the hall by the front door, body under the bed in plastic bins, a pile in the garage by the recycling bin.