Dear Rachel Z.,

I fear both metonymy and metaphor
praise breeds nothing—ire,
which I, fearing correctly,
hopes a phantom occupant,
in the earth of your gut
or mine, miscarries an island.

            Did I mis-fear you?
            I forget sometimes
            language is not the same hard pill
            I swallow to alleviate falling.

From that open veranda of an adobe court
yard when you opened your body
at the spine, I skinned
my knee on the red clay, wondered
if I could mold myself with dust
with blood with water, spend the rest
of my life worrying my expression
would do the mineralogy.

            This odd weight a geode
                        waiting to crack.