Death to the Pasture
Nicole Steinberg

Once my home borough
was a farm and I was
a spoonful of potting
soil waiting to bend
around steel rod roots of
indoor plumbing. My father was
a tree that grew in Brooklyn,
packing a heavy suitcase
of sap; my mother a mare,
gnashing on damp ends
of lit matches, showing off
a secondhand tiara of teeth.
They broke, like all things
do and sure will, even
the sun. Wheat fields twitched
as we entered, fellow hiccups
caught in the cosmos’ throat.
No trust in gods, not even
the benevolent ones. Trauma
was never a big surprise.


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