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