Chateaubriand; Nothing to Undo That Can’t Be Done Again

Angela Voras-Hills

Chateaubriand

Love me here, a tangle in the wire, complicate
my limbs with your mouth. Like the trail,
we’re a handful of breadcrumbs, the boy
whispering himself to sleep at the library,
the book slipping from his lap. We haven’t
lived long enough to knot cherry stems

together with our tongues. A girl
from another town was pinned against a fence
with the grill of a pickup while jogging.
The guy behind the wheel, a stranger, lived
on her street. You see, it happens

like this: one day, you’re eating Chateaubriand,
the next, you can barely pronounce tender,
or make use of the skin that preserved it . . .

. . . Tickle my feet as gravel once did.
Remind me of balms and salves to keep
our organs safe. Like a grape, leave me
in my skin, as I nestle in your cheek,
making a home of your darkest, inside spaces.

Nothing to Undo That Can’t Be Done Again

On the first day, we ripped carpet from the room’s bones,
rolled it like clay, stacked ourselves into man, and ate

Eggs Benedict in the breakfast nook. Light fell like a body
through the ceiling, onto our plates, and we ate.

            Our neighbors were sleeping in our walls,
            we could hear them across fields. We tore the paper down,

            found we were equal parts inside and out. As though
            we were the windows our neighbors looked into at night.

As though our brights were on and nobody would flash
to warn us. On the third day, we laid our hammers

on maps of places we’d been, tacked photos
onto our cupboards. We’d forgotten plates and forks,

            took seriously what fruit flies confirmed about memory
            and sleep. We couldn’t trust the water slapping the shore downhill

            from a sea of corn. The oak fence was barbed in the backyard:
            when it fell, nobody called to tell us. Eagle, coyote, turkey—

on the eighth day, the farmer shot them all and loosened
the sheep’s noose. His collie chased everything to pasture.

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