J.P. Grasser

                          after Shelley Jackson

Touch them, the tesserae, the shards of floating
glass, which skim the rain-full gutter. Not dead:
us/them—mere stutters, gluttons for new skin. Life,
peel back your veil. Now, see? See it again: To be dead
another time is a deciduous explosion. Pollen & leaves
world the new season, unreel & unwring the rippling,
internal similitudes. Leaves float the gutter. Anyway,
light breaks into song, into lancets, into spring, and we
water the garden. We water the plants who are
skin, the world's skin, both asking & offering. Who
the hell doesn't know this story. It's a memory-story.
Memories piecemeal, scattered like tongues, without
flayed remembrance. Our memories made the dwelling.
Piece by piece, word by word, we inhabited.
Stop. We spun heart & heath into hearth. No.
Start. How to treat arrhythmia? Again, start.
No, stop. Start again. Yes, here's a good spot to stop:
Inhabited tracts: rabbits, martins, shy magpies, apiece,
dwelling beside the deer-carcass we found. Flayed
without knives, without needles, almost like memories.
Story goes like this: wild animals, wild predators. The
Who is the wrong question, as is Why. We skin,
are skinning, skinned. But they too are water.
We are apiece if piecemeal. Still, we burn. We light
any way we can. Here, take the fuse. Combustion: internal
rippling, small fire. Our bodies prism the world.
Leaves, sticks, twigs. The mare's skin ripples. Another
deadpan delivery, another slow leaving. Still, peel
life back at the seams. Us & the horse, the horse & us—
dead? Not yet. Touch her. See her as through hand-blown glass.
Floating, it feels like floating—the world we don't never touch.