Tombstone. and Myrtle Creek. by Maya Stahler

I pitch it
and the egg cracks
against the cement of
a dead girlie’s name

I watch the bird ovum leak
into the curve of the name
I press the yellow into the grooves
and imagine the placid yolk reviving
the child reduced to battery acid
ache burning under a thousand
pounds of dust and design
she has wide eyes like a hen who

couldn’t outrun the rooster and
got fucked, sooted with feathers
rolling in the meat of the land
to get something back

I blow on the water of the egg
and see the letters fold in and out
until they are yelling for me to come home

I step back lick the fleck of bird shit
stuck to my thumb that had sweated off
from that cracked winter shell and leave

falling into the earth in front of the
gates wild and uglier than I have ever been
like a spring chicken who

has forgotten how to lay
who owes something large
like a spring chicken I am

letting my neck be shucked
by ancient hands purpled and beating
and then falling away into the grass

Myrtle Creek.
I bought a chainsaw at the Fred Meyer

And took it home

Watched a man on the internet crunk fuck a woman
Without arms in a barn

I’m red

I bought a gun engraved with a pair of centipedes

You say I can’t escape you

Back now French speaking in forest torn floods

You take me for a drive

I lose my chewing gum between your legs

Soft curls, that’s bleach you’re pouring on the lawn

Maya Stahler is a poet from Oregon who is currently a poetry MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her most recent work appears/is forthcoming in Diagram,, Bull Shit Lit, Anthropocene and elsewhere. @MayaStahler