They said rub the smoke
and seeds of chillies

across your breasts,
pastes of mustard and oil;

phylacteries to encourage
cleaving. They said take

your shirt off and leave it
on the pillow before going

away. One of them will howl
for an entire day before giving

her mouth to the surrogate.
Another will turn her face

to the wall, curling her toes
inward. The third will whimper

into your ear or the telephone
each time the shadow of a bird

crosses the field. Though they
have grown, you feel the guilt

that’s gelled in the marrow: how
it oozes out into melt each time

the body relaxes even just
a little bit into warmth.

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