We all lived in the same house.  Some of us
recuperating the way sand is nudged
towards the brush or the way things
are hardly noticeable.

It didn't matter how we loved
eachother, the nights were always
colder in Kansas.  The voices
of birds frozen in their mouths

like death sentences;

red and black snakes tightening
in their skein the way
a fist tightens.   Father
hunched over the stove

feeding its oval belly, its mouth
vomiting sparks of blood.

Those nights and howling
wind scraping its long sharp
fingernails across the windows

as if it wanted in.

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