It took more than a stiff scrub
brush to remove the world from under
my fingernails. A burlap sack dropped between me
and a forest bloated clean full
of clear air.
i live in the town where the girl has gone missing.
Only i have a rake
to comb the woods with, but the rake
is not a rake, the rake
is my own long-nailed
fingers. The comb is a scratch. This is a straight story
tol d crooked.
To explain this story i lie
on the slope
of a hill with my heels above my head
so i can present it at an angle,
so the first thing you see upon approach are the letters of the word
a l i v e
carved across each pad of each toe and then again
in reverse across each pad of each opposite toe
so i leave an imprint for the tracker
and the tracker’s camera. i s ee yo u
b oth: when i face north and swing an ax,
i look left to watch my shadow
do the work. Once the tracker’s head is
at my feet i pluck it from the ground like a winter
i don’t have anything to do with the dirt
from which it bloomed.
Like i a have a secret knowledge about my own name.
Like i invented myself and named my nude body Imperative.
Like i was unafraid of crevasses, of the clear sticky, of deepness.
Like this is the reason it was me found her.
˙ɹǝɥ punoɟ ǝɯ sɐʍ ʇı uosɐǝɹ ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ
Like how when i located the missing girl i knew her name was Double.
Like a mirror is not a weapon.
Like i had never locked smallest fingers with another girl and sworn to stay
just exactly the same.