…you did not
choose to be in the story of the woman
in the white dress which was as cool and
evil as a glass of radioactive milk.
–“Like, God,” Lynn Emanuel

Except that I did. I stood beneath the chokecherry
tree stunned by the welter and muck of June

(bugs trilling in the bog, insects thick-bodied
as fingers, fists, the sweet weight of a baby’s
wrist—), I professed loveandfidelity and till-death-

do-we-pluck-out-our-eyes. And before someone could sling
a shotgun and shanghai me out of that wet dream, I was the cream

in his coffee, before grace and bereavement milkpoured
themselves like honeysuckle (a child suckled

at my breast three years later and I knew
out of this life is the only living left) vines across my throat:

I clutched that clot of the cosmos, love, faced the forced
march of the hamstrung heart
into a swarm of angry bees—