I can’t stop singing. Every name I’ve known, on a note, ringing. I smile, open my throat. Sounds, a glorious treaty between myself and my past. I catch the A# and pull it back, my first death and I make it last. How is it that my heart is my mouth? I know your breath and imagine that I held it in my hand, sucked it in and have held it there just to let it out now on this beat. I make you alive, revive you in these words, not just strung together in black and white, but on the very air. I’ve seen you there, reverberating with sonic wonder.
These last lights guide us home
Without resolve. And with blue
Waving to us from the neon
Night we regard each other as
We move time away like layers
Of dust. Thick with apprehension,
Lacking revelation, I
Wipe my mind’s eye of our last
In my sleep I call to you but
You don’t dream or cry the end,
Only your own dissipation.
Rescued by myself, I changed and
I stayed up
To watch the sun
Rise in your eyes.
It was every
You became warm
Your palms glowed,
Ripe with lengthy
I took your hand
and was radiant.
Seeing you is a riot
To my eyes. In it
Is roiling memory
And that sense (you may be
Feeling it, too) of each
Rib cracking itself to
Introduce my heart to
The midday sun as it seeks
To brace itself against
Recalling your closed
Eyes, your hair pushed
Behind your ear, whilst
Straining to hear the cluster
Of songbirds whose noted
Spring roost interrupts
Your old record player.
Metatonic, my thoughts,
From moment to next.
All I can do is shield
Myself from what I defy.
The wheat waits for us
Brushes and waves
Licking the moonlight
It’s seed ready for an Odyssey.
The grass has laid a graph
Of shadows on top of you.
And what do you wait for?
There is never a right time
To become what we wish we weren’t.
Failing silence, I speak to say
Tomorrow’s weather will be better.
Drier, dry enough to move
through this field without
Casting ditches made by machines.
You gather the invisible fabric
Of the air around yourself and
Touch your lips in thought.
Can I see? The grass is an ocean
And I wonder
if we will find one another in it.
Lessen the lively way
You say, forever. Forever
Is not what you think it is.
Burnished steel with oil
And old cotton shirts. Buttons
On fire when the world ends.
Is it a guidepost or clock,
An imperceptible second or
The sun’s arc across the sky.
More so fatal reasoning
And an equation only
Invented, not discovered.
Shifting winds flap
Across my eyes
Until blackness spans
My memories and
Your memories of me.
Come to me
When you are done measuring
Yourself against the wind.
I will put down my rake
And welcome you as if
You had never left.
The chair faded
from afternoons of sun
And nights of dew
Will be waiting
In the northwest corner of the garden,
Where you can watch
The birds create architecture
From dried grass. I will leave
Ice in the freezer
Should you need it for your glass
And will have your favorite book
Waiting tableside, with a Florentine leather bookmark
Between pages 37 and 38. I remember
Where you left off. Your room
Looks out onto a swath of dusky hydrangeas
That were planted in your honor.
When you return, I’ll arrange as many as
I can carry in a vase on your bedside table.
The sun sets on this side of the house,
So I hope you’ll find time each day
To rest and wonder at the colors
exploding in front of us.
I took the bird wing from the shelf
And placed it in a pouch of red gingham.
A bundle misshapen and lonely, save
For its solitary companion, a tin ring,
found trapped in the quarter slot
Of a gumball machine. I do not know
Where this gift will find its resting place.
From my place I can see a cherry tree
Whose blossoms have been affected
By heavy rains and see its soil and beauty,
Or into a patch of midnight irises.
My hands, which look at me, give
No answer and time, the being
Of change remains stopped. The
Utility of offering, giving to get,
Promises only hope, but gingham
Hope is all I have.
Hips and depression don’t go together.
Used too much or too little. Either way
the body compulses until materiality
dissipates. My fleshy corporea hides a thing,
brittle, like newspaper, carbonized,
though it works harder than any
laboring hand or industrial composition.
“I think it wants to kill me” or at least,
to cauterize my humanity. Metaphor may
make sense of my body when it is absent
When I am a liminal, though, language
drags through my body like a chain of knives
and I fear that my mouth will reveal blood.
Now, now that my hips are back, I can
craft a bed to love in, make words to sleep
and breathe in.