after “Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson

O, make of my teeth. a sieve.
drink. from this. font of mercy.
make of my body. a community.

lips nets. filter all impurity.
every virus. every bruised silted
eye. sifted. through. every hurt.

sold. let tears collected. saltcrust.
make from them. crystalized. calyx.
tinkering grass. swaying. invisible breeze.

realized. glazed stalks. bowing. to receive.
caresses. gentle kiss. on the forehead.
gentle hand. on the back. gentled.

fingertips. sepal split. let me reach. up.
with both fists. & grasp the wind. that
joy withheld. cast into the sky. for me

to find. now. to harvest. to harness.
to imbibe. how then. to live. now.
with such hunger. on the wind. with danger.

fanning out. in every direction. if i could.
lay a table. for four hundred thousand.
for all of the empty chairs. lost. and we are.

still losing. pushed away. from the table.
here. i set a place. for every heart. take up all. silver.
every syringe. gather up. the mercury. every

fevered thermometer. cobble together. each scalpel.
open chested. melted into. oneflowingsubstance.
pressed. then cooled. into utensils. for our feast.

this is one way. we remind our.selves we are. alive.
we survive. by silver linings. we dine on. &
even while falling. peeled away. from seats.

full. too early. it is salt-glinted things.
that shine us. into understanding.
we were always. whole.

this is how. i will sing. for you our supper.

Adrian Dallas Frandle (they/he) is a queer fish who writes to and for the world about its future. They are Poetry Acquisitions Editor at Variant Lit & Associate Poetry Editor at Pidgeonholes. Their chapbook Book of Extraction: Poems with Teeth is out now with Kith Books. Find more online at adriandallas.com 

This poem previously appeared in Moist Poetry Journal.

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