Kris Bigalk

If you leave me,

I will carve
the shape of you
from an oak tree,
every curve of
your body
naked, bright.
I will smooth,
burnish your skin,
caress it with sandpaper,
stain it the color of blood
with a fine

In broad
darkness, I
will run my hands
over your wooden
buttocks, up
the bumps of your spine,
over the smooth cut
muscles of your back.
My body will catch
fire and glow,
against your grain.

But your effigy
will not smolder
in my fervor;
he will stand,
eyes closed,
smile slight,
living the dreams
I’ve whittled
inside his head.


I forgive the perfume of clove cigarettes
hanging from your head in curling, frazzled dreds.
Love is carrying water with no rest, despite
the alarm clock, a circle-burnt nerve, the television baby-talking
to itself, endlessly rocking you out of your cradle.
Its shadows wrestle with the distance.

I forgive the drunken worm behind your teeth,
the way your head blooms amongst clinking glass,
a shattered stone. The blood seems ashamed
of itself, a red line, a thread.
Grace is downy, silken; it blooms
like clouds in coffee, whitens everything
it touches with its whip.

I forgive your alphabetical orders,
your pine-scented tree air fresheners,
your small-tongued secrets.
It is hard not to love the glitter,
how it sticks to your fingers,
finds its way into your panties,
scratches itself into you
like bits of sugar.