The doctor says my sister tears her skin
because she sees bugs. Her nails shovel
through her body until it spurts blossoms.
Along the gutter’s underbelly, I spot
the transparent loaf of a shell split-open.
I climb a ladder, pluck its molt off the house.
Somewhere this released spirit crows
mysteries—sacred through its cedar throat.
I marvel at glimmering thorax, its distant voice.
She sits in a cold room, prying herself open.
In the kitchen, I turn off light, burn candles,
anoint with honey, and tongue the heavy gem.

Jesse Breite