Kris Christensen

Each Vertebra Alone

August arrived yesterday. Tractors breaking

summer from the stems. Now envelopes sail

shadows of a woman’s fingers

collecting like distance in old

metal bins. Behind each stamp: dust,

mustang hooves, sex where the tongue

lingered. Outside, chaff and black wings

circle the hours. A sparrow fallen into stubble

unweaves. She bags and tags

the outgoing mail. Moored to its pole,

the flag gathers color as if to stop

the beetles dismantling the flight-broken bird, as if

to ride her hands’ dark wind.