A friend said once (of snakes)
“You can’t trust things without shoulders”
I don’t know, but
the thing that tries to destroy us never answers in a shrug, 
even as it shows you these elbows, 
these hands, 

that soft belly—yours— abraded by dirty carpet; dark earth

I wish growing up was so simple as
scratching memories against stove corners and light switches and drawer knobs to loosen flesh and 


break off in sheets and fall as fragile fossils to the foresting floor of my kitchen. I could gather and scatter 
them in the yard for crows and small children 
both of whom have shoulders
on which to carry home to their kin and caw

“Look at how small they once were, just like me.”