In sleep we are blameless,
dreams stained with blackberries
and the migrations of salmon.
Fox dens are a study in patience,
trussed in leaves and snapped twigs.
There are no words for the teeth
of steel, which leap from the dark
of the bushes to press plum-colored
thoughts into our legs.
No words for when the stars unravel and we’re left
with nothing but our own torn bodies,
ripening in the sweet cold rain.
One-two: don’t trust history
or your story, or mine.
Streams slice into our pale ankles.
Moths strain the forest boundaries,
swarming towards the blackened skies.
By this I mean they mistake us for something we are not.
Steel works its way into our bones,
a trick of the light, shaping, hardening.
We take to the marrow-fields with hungry eyes
and bullets named for songs.
One-two: The hunt is wilder now,
and Artemis is on our side.
Fox dens are sniffed out,
quicksilver salmons plunge into our mouths,
until we look in the streams
and something godless stares back.
In sleep we make no noise,
By Nandita Naik
Nandita Naik is a junior at Proof School in San Francisco. She enjoys writing, programming, and musicals. Her poems have been published or forthcoming in Canvas Lit Journal and Polyphony HS.