You wake up one morning
with a great black splintered crack
through your belly,
edged out hard,
and chalked over.
This is what happens
when a crust of ache forms
on the froth white of hurt
and then breaks:
it sunders and splits
down the middle of you.

But listen close,
listen quiet,
to the sound issuing
out of it:
the hush-shush of sea
blue notes, the whale-whispers,
from your conch belly hollow,
the sour tired song
of a cold choir,
it scrapes back its chairs
and slaps its chests
with numb slabs of hand,

the mother rock wren
flits in with dead grass
and tangled hair
to nest down in your gut
and sing her dry trill song
among the spotted eggs
she’s laid.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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