Esther to Lester

She stands outside the mouth
in fear—it tastes like dirt—
a gummy red, soulful clay soil.
She passes through

this entrance daily
to travel into that deep, pitch,
sometimes dank, place
inside herself

where she plucks poems
from vines. Too dangerous now,
this passage might cave
into her, she might crumble

into a thousand tiny pieces
of a broken heart.


Into that laughter she takes
a wrong turn, lands
outside a stone 

wall where vines bare
their veins. The host separates
direct light from parallel lines 


wind-stirred dirt. She picks it up
at the last possible moment
before rain drowns out sound.