Blood Relics

Aimée Baker

(unidentified woman discovered April 28, 1979 in Newark, New Jersey and November 1990 in North Camden, New Jersey)


Come to this desperate place
where my bones have been separate
for so long the notched grooves don’t

fit. You need
alignment to answer

why your skull is found
beneath the broken
wood of a house where strong men flex

dark muscles beneath
November’s worn out sun.

You will find
the call of your body
is not one of desire. Where the splintered

ache in your chest is simply the curl
of a caterpillar taken root

in the hole where your heart once was.
I thought I knew
how a butterfly becomes

something other than a tongue lost
in words, but it is not how wings grow

from flesh, it is how we are reduced
to liquid and who we might have kissed
under the whispers

of this tree while singing the night