Scratching a dent in the old Everest tree

I’m wrenched forward

writhing and fluttering

a magazine page in a landfill


images stick and blur together

like cotton candy on a hot boardwalk

sunshine turns white when you stare

and fireflies melt when you catch them


all of these forgotten things

like the ritual bath in the synagogue

my grandmother and her Yiddish

living in Poland without ever being Polish


I keep finalizing then digging again until

the blankets become too heavy

the water starts giving me a rash

next to the mosquito bite on my ear


and eyes spring open

as mahogany gleams and fades

blood vessels overwhelming the red puffy sclera

and I don’t dare make a sound