We've tried engaging and being engaged
wearing rings, committing
first to a pulse but failing that a hum

a grinding of gears meant to crush
broaden horizons and unearth rhizomes
correct the mistakes in the root

killing the flower

but my eight fingers
two thumbs and eleven ribs
are worn down and wet

ghosts pour out from books and hiss
smoke curling up from their mouths
as they remind us all
of what we've lost

my fingers too thin to hold gold
my blood and skull richer for its thrift

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