the streets are walked empty tonight,
room made for cold noises to roam.
outside, an ambulance tilts its horn
like so much static: a white noise
slighted into yellow. indoors, we spill into electricity
like all the lights flooding in,
a whirlpool of tightened strings. mouth shut like torn rubber. hands seeping into rooms with no more soft
to give way. the boots down the hallway and dirt spell protection,
so I tell them my name in the way tearing
off rose petals sounds like a freeing. the first step after invasion is healing. the password is the year and a weather
of cold. in the stretchers we’ll fall back into becoming,
and remember how in reconstruction,
we stitched needles into empty pieces.