“…Yesterday you told me about the way
forestry affects your mind:
hunting poison ivy, leaves of three
with greater poisons in hand,
your mind twists and grows
into moving shapes, tesselations
of trinities, hidden in the brush
like a Magic Eye painting.
The movement of growing things,
the taste of green gets under your skin…”
“…Come with me, when the coast is clear,
to the Gideon’s call of foghorns
and the rush of wind in your russet hair.
I want to see the cold playing your skin
and draw maps of the constellations
of your freckles. I want to discover
the highways and fire roads in you,
your back country, the icebergs that break ships
and the lounging sunlit seals…”
“I’ve got a golden envelope
in my back pocket
I’m careful not to crush it,
smooth its edges before I sit
every day I slip things in it for you:
the scent of grapes,
soft things that yawn
green beanstalk money
last night’s dreams
and while I sleep, the gifts awaken
into their own mischief, alive
with the multiplying alchemy of you—…”
“…Tonight I’m connecting the stars on my own
in a house the color of midnight.
I was experimenting with electricity
and found a rip in the galaxy—
an open circuit, a breach in polarity
where the mysteries of trinities glow
Is it too much just to be happy?
I don’t need to invent the microwave
or write a symphony.
I just want the simple pleasures
I’m waiting, and waiting is a sentient life-form
you can feed snacks…”
…I feel her pushing against my rocks,
evaluating the surface.
I feel the tug of her roots descending,
cotyledon bursting, Kermit-green:
a heart-shaped inquiry
I can’t help but water.
What will they bring? Will this be a quick harvest,
a crop of radishes—lunch for the skunks,
or the start of a garden?
It’s hard to say, always. I lie under the covers,
trembling, osmotic—thinking of the other beginnings,
these inceptions I didn’t expect.
I turn over the soil, remembering them all.
I’m strangely calm, like always; my membrane thins
and I paint my cortex with the colors of her skin…
I’ve had just about enough.
The rattling of my car’s heat shield
against the rattling of my brains
cobbled together with failing adhesive.
Driving home from another government office.
The same songs on Spotify; I’m discovering weakly
that I can’t trust victory. A motor oil bottle leaking
onto rags on the carpet; corn chips on the floor.
The smell of defeat.
One step forward, two steps back;
my heart reminds me it’s planning an attack.
A chime from the woman who sends me snakes;
all of my lovers live far away…
We recognize each other in a crowd,
with our forcefields of dark matter pulsing
inside hastily draped crime scene tape:
yellow and black
like the skins of dead hornets
warning you we’re poisonous.
We are the ones who can’t be touched.
Even the breeze is dangerous.
A hug, a touch on the hand
is a cellar door swung open,
a dirt floor to land on…
The day we watched lizards
we lost track of time
and incited the ire
of an angry husband
it was then I knew
how little he knew you.
Collapsed in a heap,
they sought the warmth
of a glass bulb
on their collective mass,
quietly growing tails;…
…I want sky and clouds
and the white squint of light,
not this hollow gray night
rent through with a whistle
but the salt truck came again
and yesterday too:
my shoes crunch on the crystals
collecting in drifts
and I’m tired of running
past shanties and tracks
on an electrified bridge
trying not to step in the cracks,
and wishing I could just
get back home
How could I forget a kiss?
I know it’s strange to forget this
when I think of how you entered my life
like a monsoon: a sudden pressure drop
and rainbow macaws streaked across flat gray sky
like the mist auras on spigots
long after it stopped raining —
on that summer day when you picked me
with your nimble white fingers
like sea glass on a beach
that day the subway stopped
due to a sudden accident
when someone tripped on the train tracks
and died instantly of a heart attack…
you warned me of your delicacy,
but I flipped right through your preface
and saw into the moonstone eye
of your heart-story, like aurora
borealis, silvery contrails
of heroically falling dreams
streaking and shifting in blue turns
as they tremble and singe in the atmosphere
of a dense planet, over polar magnitudes
where entire seasons are devoted
to the exclusive practice
of darkness or light—…
it occurs to me
around that time when internet research decays
from topics of insolvency and fellowships
to tongue splitting, furries and Rasputin’s pickled cock
that I am really, really lonely
and my brain,
radioactive and glowing,
(after all possible avenues for defilement
that Google and the human race have catalogued)…