there was this tree like a hand- a wooden hand.
some days i would be naked amongst the fingers
like a slice of why. i was a why, a young one-
woodland in my approach, hair tied up in sky.

and i would tip myself out of bed for the
crematorium, dawn winding round me in pink
shouting. it was a stranger with poison sweets,

the coloured bottles i took home for a disco.

i dug ‘em up and would have shot them.
sleeping in the orchard and waking
with a mouth dry as tiny apples,
the dirty black worlds in the trees.

and i talked to the snapdragons,
the boy who spat on me in his hood of orange fur.
they came across the fields slow with tongues
and square tipped nails, right in my tree

like soldiers eaten up by flames. one two three.
kisses making me clever for me
in different dresses. some with hoops but all
with bodices made from bone.

and i was shaped and compressed right in the face,
yet still alight. fingers passing through into another place.

hand-print cheeks slightly parting to suck in the sun   
and days like an empty child.

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