When You Enter Heaven
You will be emptied of language. You will have to reach for every word the way a child reaches for the bright candle or a sphere of white chocolate. For example. A Rose will me missing akk its letters. Arranged instead into the petals of a perfume. Even the bright thorn Which pierces your hand will be only a small triangle of silence letting you know. At last. What you were. What you finally left behind.
The skies teem with birds. Days, nights, we circle deeper into the woods. Cravings waken on my tongue. I remember orange slices my father gave us, juice and pulp moving under my fingers. Blisters appear on my heel. Hansel knots a red scarf under my chin. He guides me, hand at my elbow. The house of gingerbread is always rising, its walls porous and soft. Candied fruits gling like bits of colored glass. In the morning I chop wood and bring water. The frost whitens the leaves on the path, and my brother coughs in his sleep. At night my muscles swell, and the bed is cold. The witch rocks all night by the fire, turns my face on her eye like meat on a spit. I wake to the moon leading its light through my window, the promise of home, I think of the nightshade in the windowsill, the vials and colored powders on the shelf. The oven glows in the morning darkness.