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                              [our speech deteriorates]

In the treespine

a whittle of bark

exhumes anttrains,

mandibles clickclick

under breezebreath.

Unanswered shadings

fill cavityrings, knots,

out to its fingerings,

where leaves

silkslip down

to the fermenting earth.


And what of the human

body? Not much

more than sistershavings,

a vertebrae of


absence, half sense,

a pennythought



So much for that

cove crisscrossed

with splinters. A whistling.

Exhaled echoes spill

through limblinks,



Felled: the trickslipped

trunk mayhems to piles

of its peripherals,

a sentence’s sap and bast

hangs in switchnots:

a noose.

Abi Pollokoff is a Seattle-based writer with work previously in Inch, Broadsided Press, LEVELER, inter/rupture, Guernica, H_NGM_N, and others. A former editor-in-chief of the Tulane Review, she won the 2012 Anselle M. Larson/Academy of American Poets prize for Tulane University and holds an MFA from the University of Washington.

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