I Want to See My Face on a Milk Carton

By: Alrisha Shea

and when you talk in your sleep the voice is never your own

and when the world ends and the next begins our radio stations

will still patiently recite their numbers. (dear mx. god,
is this how it feels to be replaced?) In the wilderness,

where everything has a name, I found your body with holes
all over. I started to ask you if you needed water, needed help,

but you looked me in the eyes and I knew. In the wilderness,
where everything has a name, you had lost yours. You spoke

and your voice was mother’s. You looked me in the eyes
while you dangled from the electric pylon, and you looked

nothing but bewildered. Back in the days when I lived in
the theatre rafters, I would look down from the catwalk

and idly fiddle with the trigger of a sniper rifle. You
would have liked it there – each second blurred into

the next, with dust specks congealing on the floor
in record time. And after I’d shot each bullet,

the body would rot faithfully in front of me. See,
everything obeys their own rules. Not like the

carcass preserved in river-ice. Not like the fern
who defies classification. Goddamn you all to hell.

I can’t do this on my own. I couldn’t live without a name.