Taneum Bambrick

How long will I last before ruining this?
Escaping the heat that teethes from your chest
like barbed wire with little dogs in it.
Mess of your face cracked from sweat. I love my own
smallness when you forget it’s me, being dragged
with the corner of our blanket.
Your feet curled cold inside my knees.

Once, kayaking a river, I saw a silo
torn and slanted like a soda can shot with BBs.
Wildflowers and grass rose from lumps of soil
through the base. Until I heard a yawning
I didn’t see the baby skunk at the center
of the metal circle. I knew not to hurt this.
The fingers of its front paws
drawn together, holding a short leaf.
I couldn’t help but scream.