1840 c/o Karen Correia da Silva

i’m arranged to be married
to quiet my rebellious heart.
i won’t ask if you love me.

i want to be halfway between
the nakedness of the lake
and shooting at the queen.

i want to be halfway between
this immeasurable wilderness
and white satin against skin.

i want to be whole.

the wild tongues of the land
linger on the borders of everything.
i can hear them at night

between my shoulder and the
top of this dress. tongues
against my neck whispering

“foreigner.” tongues i can’t
understand wishing for me
buffalo, bear, eagle, deer.

but this place is not built
for love or desire. only a future
of many faces seeking erasure,

and my children will speak
in all the world’s languages
about this sticky july heat.