We parse the trail
brush
where wild
raspberries
bloom for your birthday:
bursting,
small, countless
as my desires.
Say, take some
as the forest does,
fold them
in the hood
of your sweater;
hold a reminder
of the animal
you’ve made me—
maybe a flicker,
maybe a mouse
with a long
fine-thread
tail—
either way,
surely something
soft
and skilled
in storing,
keeping
in the cheeks
or some bitter-
sweet tunnel
of my own design,
pieces
of the little sin
in me,
and the good.
I do not remember
the animal
I am called
here; sometimes,
we forget our names,
sometimes
we shed them.