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Amee Nassrene Broumand

The Night Cloth

Sangak bakes, bedded on river stones.

Our greyer selves haunt the gaps where floorboards
meet bomb-rumbling walls. Outside, the war

of gaslighting
& gauze.

Gorge on poppy seeds, friend.

Wells of midnight nestle in saffron vials, gushing
from the cupboard. Status—
no diatoms spark in this ocean, no alcoves
gleam with squid eyes & gulper jaws.

Cooking isn’t for the squeamish.

Morning. Window spiders collect diamonds,
carbon charms
to ward off life’s decrescence. Outside,

cowboys deface a phoenix, binding her fire-born belly
with featherbone, grasping her girdlestead in a hawk-grip,


until death at the bridle.



When I was three
I’d daydream
of a grey woman
who stored bits of people
in jars.

I never saw her


A low sound, a sound near me in the dark—
a sound like a dying goose.

Perhaps she’s a witch after all.

She keeps watch—a curled worm—whispering,
Where I come from, the living eat the dead, then
become them.


The clouds want to storm, but can’t.
Disgruntlement grows, the vex & heat of the murk—
the hex. Townspeople wander the streets
in rising disquiet, unsettled by the perpetual sense
of expectancy.

Inside, the kitchen glows with fire.
I have a stick of celery
some rotten carrots
a handful of barley
& no meat.


I fear the sideways pull of my eye,
the creeping call of my stomach.
I know the olive bones
of my skeleton—I can count them.

We’re lost. This trail
leads to a cipher, the circle
of my heart—

Rippling before us, a well of rainwater—
a Brobdingnagian crater in the earth, a mere of night,
a thaumaturgical gash, baleful yet hallowed.

Or is it a hopeful mouth?

The day turns smoky, the sun
as silver as the moon. I seem
to smell sweetbread stew—


She scattered suet
the quail came
she watched inside.

While tearing a quail
with my beak,
I saw her eyes.


Boil & shriek—I start at the kettle’s cry.

The shadow of a child
hovers near the fire,
her source unknown.



a (bee)—
wild & onewinged—
spins lopsided within the ravages
of the living room—
shuttered cluttered &

smash the bottles against the wall
to make the buzzing
stop / or go / faster

the tide of the room rises—

sunlight drips from honeycomb,
festering in the corners &
frosted over with red gnats

& the honey sweetens
no more—

still, the Hunger


rising bloated & dead
tired / the sun crawls
across a loon bleeding
in the rushes

Let me show you my crown

in the flickering grass / under trees
& porches / floating
over the claw-foot tub / clocks
bite, expecting marrow & getting
a great moon of nothing

Let me open my mouth

cotton-candy-colored silver
floods the hillside & everybody

old dust becomes new
bone & brains & bread

Let me show you my teeth—

gleam rotten
in the roar


cherry hummingbird
—the [bleeping] machine—
caged in bone / darts sad-eyed

a filament
melting into the afternoon

Today we gather
to remember the bee
—snatched from our sunfields—
by beaks of honey
& stone. Today we fall

into the afternoon

waiting in roselight
for the snowdrifts, the [BLEEEEEEEEEP
ing] avalanche—the birth
of mountains, violet

on the dark shore

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