“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?…”
“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?…”
Scrawled graffiti on my brain.
I’m tired. My garden is dying
and waiting for rain. I’m sore
and losing the words that capture
my feelings. Boxes, blankets,
windows, seashells: the hermit crabs
of my thoughts scuttle barebacked
across the hot sand.
I needed the ocean…
Take these words:
they’re all I have to give.
If I wait for their unfolding,
I’m lost in the flood of quicksilver,
motive drowning in fulfillment —
too much satiation, too much matter,
and my mouth falls dry —
but words satisfy quietly
a distance from object you can’t hold
or let go of —
so take these words —
we can survive on them for years,
dreaming in their shadows,
dancing on their bones,
sucking them like bright candies
on a long highway ride…