The person in me grows smaller,

curls up in a ball,

wraps in a colorful wrapper.

A chocolate covered prune.

Bitter, sugary, smoky,

marks the fingers

with the black, abrasive stain—

that’s how you’ll recognize your kin,

that’s how you’ll distinguish

between black and white.

My entire person may be eaten in one go.

Open your mouth wide,

clench your jaw tight,

swallow once.

The person in me

will squeak, crumble, and halt.

And already without her—

with marble-like confidence

— I will hold back

the cargo carriages,

the distant roads,

the barbed wires,

the tall fences,

the perpetual snow.

And those

with bones in their throats,

those with crossed fingers

behind their backs,

the shady dealings of a military man,

a horse made of damp, fireproof wood,

and a berry— round and poisonous.