The sky rescinds itself,
calls back the birds,
forgets the color blue. Snow falls
like arsenic, strikes
rebellion in the river’s blood.
in the cold, and the air hates everything,
including you. Mouth full of fear,
you spit petals of poisonous white flowers
in the face of the machine.
stink of gears grinding.
Merciful ooze of oil.
You wake in white,
mind scraped clean
as old bones.
Memories have left behind
only their smells, tugging
upward on your guts
like fishing line down
your throat. For hours, even weeks
after your release, a lover
can still smell it on your breath.