is coral bells and touch-me-nots,
mushrooms, spider fern.
heaven is the garden she’s been walking
since she left her life, the crushed smoke
beneath her muddy toes, the broken vines
laying down their obstinance.
she’s been searching for water
that no one will give.
it doesn’t matter. she knows where
the river winds itself around the cliffs,
where the snakes polish their lungs
in bile, where the darkness multiplies
in sleepless schools of fish,
where no man can write his language
on reams of paper, where the belly of
sorrow is slick and clean,
where a heart is pumping vinegar
inside the convex mouth of an oyster.