The static hum of cicadas a blanket over leaf litter,
I emerge from the same sheets my grandmother
sewed the raw edges back together, patched
planes worn thin by crooked feet and long nails.
Stand, shedding sheets like skin, smelling
faintly of dust and the small homes of native mice.
Walking the beach hand in hand with a long line
of my former selves, all of us crowding
coastline, jostling toward the cliff-face hanging
over the lip of the channel, plunging into deeper,
darker waters, thirsting for salt.
The weight of my body slumps
against the swing of the pendulum clock
if I could hold time still for even a minute
maybe you could make your way back to us,
unfurl from the earth again in new skin,
a whole and imperfect thing.