A Primitive Plant

the rafters of the house unraveled on the equinox
the color of old prison denim, her little house on the—
worm-chewed, worm-spat, tepid coffee from secondhand grounds—
prairie, dogs with mangled throats prowling the edge
digging up the dirt-soaked porch
webs and white chalk underneath
an incarcerated clavicle
some missing posters: ten pints of blood if found return to
hair— mats of it— does hair rot? if so how?
(ask Jane Doe, her vertebrae, her mandible
worm-chewed, worm-spat
an infant raccoon’s rattle)
middle of the earth, middle of the day
flashfloods wash the evidence away
and the rafter breaks
(no infant sparrows survive the fall)
for coyotes, ravens to feast on the remains


Midori Chen is a writer from San Francisco. She likes to bear witness to the little things— a new nest on an old branch, a half-buried uncut key. She likes her poetry to sustain those small moments.