[Like any light now break­ing in the sky]

The Iowa Review - - MARTHA EVANS - Joyelle mcsweeney

Like any light now break­ing in the sky I am the ar­row: I ride and I de­cline. My throat’s an ul­cer­ated weapons cache where ra­dioac­tive gun­sights bleed their tox­ins in ground­wa­ter. Birds rear up, deranged, their mi­to­chon­dria are scram­bled. They can­not steer by stars. I’m as di­sheveled: my lungs raise two black flags in­side in warn­ing, boil like frogs, flap, re­lease fawn-col­ored scum. Skimmed from my lips, my only ut­ter­ance, my spit is stud­ied for its signs. Gross sibyl. When Death leans in, his staff’s en­cir­cled by a viper. I adorn him with my spit­tle, with my ci­pher.

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