As for . . . thieves, cut off their hands for what they have done
– The Qur’an

Blood flew from my astonished wrist.
I sought only hope –
not a life of ease.

I am not an animal half-dressed
in your absurd expectations
braying like a donkey.

After scratching for berries and seeds –
any blessing that might
fall like snow on a rutted road

I write what?
This. Only this.

Lines that receive my pain
like fingers in a reluctant glove.

Antlers dressed in blood
could not have locked horns
with fate more bitterly.