On the wet bed of stones by the creek, you slip your sharpened scissors along the nape of my neck, & madness itches down my shirtless back, a second life of cells furring my bare feet. As you cut, I clip my nails past the quick, a housebroken beast who’d rather bleed than scratch. All the scraps of men & women I won’t be, we sweep out to the birds. Too easy to call me Samson. Call me the donkey’s jawbone that only wished to rest. Say we’re the pair of foxes freed into the field, one torch tied to our two tails. I’ll be the lion carcass if you be the honey cupped in its gut, churning slowly to mead. Outside, in the rafters above our porch, a blind bird is hatching into a home woven from my hair.
Brandon Thurman is the author of the chapbook Strange Flesh (Quarterly West, 2018). His poetry can be found in The Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Nashville Review, RHINO, and others. He lives in the Arkansas Ozarks with his husband and son.