about the events of August

i. water

Shame tastes like oleander tea and almond soap and sodden grapes and wilted rose water.
Shame moves like mortar and pestle grinding rosemary with regret and poison oak with oh but everything happens for a reason darling go back to sleep. In an ocular bowl,
Shame pummels fate and stirs.

ii. earth

Shame walks itself up a Sisyphean mountain and rolls itself back down. You, Jack, and I, Jill, follow up that hill and roll away as choking victims.
Shame erects monuments around our bodies, these walls.

iii. fire

Shame cooks live, open hearts in stone pots over flames fueled by emptiness and ethanol.
Shame freezes tongues over ice and stores them in a locker, murderous.

Shame cheats on everybody’s lover, mostly because
Shame marries everybody.

iv. wind

Shame is a differential that moves our five senses off their tracks, a pinion in our machinery that pines to be a greater gear.
Shame is always working, fine-toothed and locomotive. It does not always feel necessary, toknow its slow, painful grind. But where would we be without it?

Immobile machinery or purely elemental. A smooth metal coil, a pointed spire, a cold ring, barbed wire? Something made new, but painfully still.

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