is murdering unguarded presidents
of countries you were not born in.
This is a reminder that I was not born
here or at all I stumbled into this limp
living like a glue trap & since then
I’ve dragged what remains of my torso
behind me like a soiled bridal train.

When my parents got married
the crowd flung axes instead of rice.
After the divorce they spent their last
night together unsheathing the rusty
blades that had since scabbed over
from each other’s backs. Once upon
a time I was small & would fold
my single stolen skirt into the soft
shape of an axe, then hide it under
my bed. All known futures & models
of physics agree that loving anything
forever is difficult: your husband
whines about dinner, the winters last
too long to care about the miracle
of snow, & by the time you spot
your senator in the grocery store
you’ve already started stripping
off your clothes. Axes it’s said last
longest when kept under your pillow
they guard your brain the president
of your body & I was not born I was
numbed into boyhood by some dumb
government of no mothers

like the woodsman whose dark-haired
god stuck thumbs in his belt loops
& forged a new commandment
about reading & the sea next winter
so the woodsman took from the bed
his prizewinning axe & hacked
the ice from his skull.