How To Build an Emergency Shelter 
There are ten ways the body crumbles:
injury, sun poison, hypothermia,
hunger, loneliness, arthritis, the howling
of coyotes in the distance, the rain soaking
through your clothes, memories, especially
memories. The taste of Sunday morning
blueberry pancakes on your grandmother’s
everyday dishes. How you wept when
the sugar bowl broke. How you weep
when the sun goes down on another
absence and part of you with it.
You could surround yourself with debris,
boughs from the forest floor. Ferns
and their deer ticks thirsty for you.
Or lean against a rock, pressed
into the cold cheek of the world
to ride out the night, hope morning
warms up the cliff face, hope
evening restores what was broken
and sleep spells escape. Nothing
you can build from the gatherings
around you can keep the world
out. The secret, as always, is to place
one thing on top of another, the way
we pile earth over the dead
to cover our losses.​​​​​​​
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