the bamboo rows rickety, us arranging
for a bath and the text of ash on the skin between fingers.
Ash veins before the foam, your mother said
smuggling an ember in, will & testament inert
for tapers to uncover. So smoothly to prick heat
with advanced medical facilities but blocks away, the whites
of plastic alone, some sinewy and others solid, prefabs
a backboard with waivers, practitioners.
Under the star dots she lathered
repellent in swirls, on both your calves. Justice hates that antiseptic
smell bringing her to eels wet in large porcelain. “Not that
hand me rock salt. Rub onto skin, like so. Kindly, put
pressure.” How those kids tell one from the other
what stands for something, or against
with a readiness to hurt you / Dwell, a while longer.