What does it mean when someone is speaking,
not asking, yet the sounds they make seem to curl
harmlessly upward like a question mark? I’ve an old
fear of looking too hard beneath the blunt ends of things
—something might break open at last. For a long time
I carried my agate carapace in pieces, proof of
another form, proof of having once been seen, before
something was taken. After, it dangled from my waist
in a sling bag. I wanted to piece them back together:
with red and yellow seeds, an eye-shaped amulet.
I know it’s sometimes hard to tell from looking
what I used to be. There are faint finger marks
going down the middle of the spine, as if to stopper
holes in a flute. That’s how I learned not all
undoing means yes, or I agreed to this. For a long
time it hurt to put the voice back in the throat.