“after another’s arm” by Lorelei Bacht

after alive, after another's arm, a turn-
around – but not as beautiful. 

a bell begins to blink our bodies into view,  
come blue curtains of dawn. 

after capable of action comes desire 
now diminished, fraction      of a familiar 

glow, holding. if an impulse, the nature of 
this beast: is it      or isn’t it? 

tree branch once liveable, now made 
matches.      might we more of morning? 

i name myself, and the naming nervous. 
     the checklist reads: none. or nothing. 

if only the right ring, if only shapes stopped 
   still. if only the bird kept its tongue – 

a tenderness? a we,    a what,      a whatever. 
did we dream the wind's delicate 

weavework in the frangipani? afterwards: 
i will walk the world.    not yours.    but mine. 

Lorelei Bacht’s poetic work has appeared / is forthcoming in The Night Heron Barks, Queerlings, SoFloPoJo, Barrelhouse, Sinking City, Stoneboat, One Art, SWWIM, and elsewhere. They can be found on Twitter @bachtlorelei and on Instagram @lorelei.bacht.writer. They are currently watching the rain instead of working on a chapbook.