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I carve this apple into a dove,

wrap it in a nest of boiling water.

I pinch your silences into soft whispers,

pile them on your still chest—

the marrows of turtles swirling counterclockwise inside them.

I offer a dry stem,

unfold this paper crane into a square cage.

I keep the butcher’s thumbprints here.

from Flood SongFind it in the library

Copyright © 2009 Sherwin Bitsui
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sherwin Bitsui

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.