Sack and Hammer – Kristin Fullerton

The spring rains weep
the backyard into a stream:
a scene fit for an accidental drowning.
For forty years, we have danced
around this stage and I hope
you will forgive me,
but I am tired, so goddamned tired.
Everything with you,
despite my fervent prayers,
must be hidden or destroyed.

My exhaled breath becomes
a bright copper penny, dropped
among the green dicots
of the black walnut tree.
It is my childish way
of praying for you to come find me,
if you care enough
to send a search party.

Bark mouth, mud eyes, abandoned
bones, I have been
the walnut shell in your burlap sack
and faced the fury of your claw hammer,
believing in the beauty of being broken
to be harvested.

I once even imagined
I could become
the rushing water
in your slurry of husks and gravel,
your dutiful farmer.

But the painful truth
is that I am too bitter
to be pulled in close enough
to be healed.
I am, and have always been,
one of the many yellow harvested
hulls, too toxic to compost
next year’s garden.
My kind of love,
passive, plaintive and poisonous,
keeps most living things
away from your beautiful black walnut tree.

Kristin FullertonKristin Fullerton lives in upstate New York. She is a proud alumna of both Elmira College and University at Albany. Previous work has appeared in Devilfish Review, Maine Review, Panoplyzine, and Zetetic.