my mother asks me
for water and I
don’t know where

the well went
or what to give instead

new kingdoms go
about their music
sugar through a sieve

a rust-winged hawk
perches on my ribs

guts my many
hearts those baby mice in a hole
new kingdoms come

along where cans amass among
guttered branches

I give my mother questions
about the dead
in an empty cup

found or forgotten green

a little frayed blue tarpaulin
for a tongue
sinks into the swimming pool

full of seaside postcards
my mouth hangs open

on a cabinet shelf
a can
of expired sunlight

CATE PEEBLES is the author of Thicket (Lost Roads Press, 2018) and has poems forthcoming in Pine Hills Review and The American Poetry Review. She is an archivist and lives in New Haven, CT.

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