you never know the sanctions brought upon
your motives—lightning tearing up the sky—
until the lilies, soft and bright, are gone;
the way their petals dance about your eyes;
the way their crisply stems do snap between
your teeth when they sink in before they die
of robbing lushness, violet and green
when buds no longer rest within your hands.
the depth of roots peel apart as seem-
ing night becomes our blanket of demands
across our county lines and in our beds
where we pick off the leftover hair strands.
awake we lie, i do not rest my head
for on these sanctions, i feel like i'm dead.