Sage

Her knotted fists;
inside of them her heartbeat
banging to get out.
She wonders how to run from home
when her mother still needs her
to press the ice against her face.
Down the block a woman cleanses her house
and the wind carries the scent of sage
through the open windows.
She thinks about lighting the trees
in her front yard on fire
– she thinks about her body burning, too.
It is hard to sleep when he comes back
and she can hear the sharp of his tongue
through the wall.
She wonders if she is the first girl
to want to offer herself up as a pyre,
but knows that when he leaves again,
she will drift off to her mother’s distant
sobbing, like the moon calling the tide
back home.

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