I have learned to crawl backward into the wilderness

Rachael McKibbens’ new collection blud was not an easy read in the best sense; it is, as its very name suggests, nakedly intense and beautiful.



I have learned to need the body
I spent years trying to rid the world of

have learned to cherish its pale rebel hymn
warped by ghost heat, carried, carried

by all my loyal dead. I have learned
to crawl backward into the wilderness

to ask, to eat, to steep in your gentleness.
Let this be where I permit forgiveness

to know your name, to leave our crulest years
where & how we need them most–

behind & unlit.