My Scorpion
She coils her tail around my wrist, whispers me fire, 
the blue part, the part that really breathes. 
From the plaintiff table the lawyer asks yes or no, 
yes or no. But none of the questions
are yes or no questions. The court clerk cleans his glasses 
with his shirt. The man says the word again. 
With a twang. A hard r. The obvious poplars 
sprawl their umbrellas over the court of no record. 
Nature. The man’s anger rises beneath the table until
he must excuse himself. My scorpion is able to speak
and not speak. Her exoskeleton purples. No one touches her. 
His reddening mouth. I wish everyone could see it like us. 
Once I told the man on the other side 
I didn’t want to live anymore. Black smoke rose. 
There was no other way out. My scorpion wears 
the cold shadows. I used to trust my mind. 
Then she appeared in autumn, armored, impossible. 
I cannot say more about the man. The law is bone lonely. 
The day my scorpion arrived I was rising. I cradle 
my stinger. I carry her in my claw like an ache.
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