“…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…”
“…Yesterday you told me about the way
“…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—…”
like a stem,
straw of nectar
up to us
from the layers of soil
over rocks and diamonds
coals and oils
to the core of lava
held so carefully in
carrying the weight
of our petals and filaments,
arms and faces
toward the sun…”
“The secret of leaving things behind
branding the flanks of the world,
It’s not the buildings they burn,
It’s the songs we hum
while we work.
It’s all the things that don’t make book.
Rain gnaws the edges of my small-town street,
baring cobblestone teeth.
Forgotten dance steps litter the dirt
in layers under the grocery store,
and I’m thinking about legacies
and the thin halocline
between living and dying.
Where am I on this river? How much time
before the salt trickles in,
pulling me home to the ocean?…”
“Meet the real woman behind the voice of Siri.
My computer’s possessed!
Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.
You’re not a dish, you’re a man.
Can I show you some really disturbing math?
There’s never been a better time than now to focus.
Being a person is complicated.
Hey there, got a little misfit inside of you?
Do you want more clarity and empathy?
There are situations when you need a serious power supply…”
“…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…”
“Oh, what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
In your sleep, listen
to the hum of latent sunrise—
the crickets of dawn receding
as dreams trickle
down the celestial bolus
like fireflies into your open veins.
against the edges of blackout curtains.
The entire universe is trying to trespass
with all its available light,
and you’ve mistaken it for a burglar.
Mars is insistent: this isn’t a joke.
Will the sound of glass breaking awaken you?…”
(Ekphrastic homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, with borrowed words)
do these accordion players keep playing
in the middle of the street
to incoming traffic?
Bellows spread open,
taped and stitched, dissected;
parting a red sea of love notes
over and over, purses bloated with life,
pockets of coins scattering
from a currency that wasn’t current,
change that didn’t register
until the impact finally hit.
Before the sun rises, I let his shadow hold me.
Dawn threatens the blackout curtains.
Another day waiting, another sun and moon
giving way to more empty rooms
in the dayless patchwork of quarantine.
I remember how he is when his words are flesh
and his voice isn’t saved up in a jar:
It’s Sunday, September:
after storms, a high-contrast day
so bright I can see the future
glowing like the variegated orbs of apples
in this barn, each in its wooden bowl
into tastes of permanence.
The cider press extracts elixirs
and ferments liquors while donuts fry,
pies bake, sauces simmer.
The hurricanes passed.
You were here with me,
like you’ve been through them all
under the waves as my towns submerged…
…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…