a windmill. with hands of tamped rock.
in rows and layers, it seems. when we fight,
we are at war. with the moss that crawls under slate
roofs. when i was a child, i wasn’t allowed
to have any hair. my wrists—hands—
elongated. bony as the scroll at the end
of my antique chair. i watch myself now. my hair
fans over my hips like a yellow dress.

my room—a scatter of receipts. loose coins under books.
i give them to the ceiling. to distribute
themselves upon us—in slow motion. rain
that cleans the fall. menstruation
to seam ankles. a man shows me how to change
coins into buttons. dances with me
on the floor of a well. our legs are scissors
until we breach the promise of rocks that drive the mill.

i watch people—there is no more than one door
behind each one. the tablecloth is being washed
by rain. ancestors are grasses—blades—limbs like invisible
savages. a bird is always trying to make a nest
in the cavities of my door. who will thresh my receipts?
they wave like flags. i have paid more than my fair share.

my hand in the sun—in the light of fire. my fingers
are not sins. nor suns nor clouds—they are bombs
breaking down the sky.

leaves are dressing trees. like the rapid ripening of cocoons.
the lamp in the interstices of arching trunks—gives way.
the table my mother has set again. shadows can be seen
with their mother’s bales in their hands. i always leave dreams
half open. when it is time for me—i want to know

what i wore when i lived inside the face of a clock.
its gold roof like a crown—its shingles made of scales of fish.
the logs of its house—i have eaten from the inside. the sun oiling
my pelt. my children flying in the meadow with me.
the leaves translucent in the downing sun.
the trees in the forest. red.

Annie Blake is a writer who enjoys research in psychoanalysis and metaphysics. Her poem, ‘These Grey Streets” was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize by Vine Leaves Literary Journal; and her fiction, “How I Swallowed a Snake” has been nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize by The Slag Review.