On a quiet street of brick and oaks,
the mind of high summer:
a pale green notion of sound
cicadas, thinking with their wings —
possessing the treetops
in irridescent plunder
like the sacred scarabs of Egypt,
land of our bondage…
On a quiet street of brick and oaks,
…The brain is a confusing place,
a space of fear and forests
and tests, where the inquisitive
won’t rest until each corner’s
mapped on some handy GPS,
but if passion leads you
to burn all the trees
and ask too many silly questions
you’ll be left with only brushfires
and a bad case of depression…
…The world hasn’t changed.
My heart still struggles against gravity.
The snow still falls and collects
by the seed cakes, where chickadees
fight over the squirrels’ sloppy seconds.
I still drift.
A neighbor is shoveling my snow outside;
I hear the blade scraping on pavement.
I’ve brought him Earl Grey tea in a travel mug
and went outside to trade small words.
It was hard—
I wanted to stay by the woodstove, pretending
I didn’t hear it, pretending I didn’t need this…
…I’ve decided to walk today, which is hard for me
but your hand is filled with shadows
that flow into my veins
and soften the weight of sun.
Everywhere around you, shadows cushion me.
I am bathing in the darkness of your light…
All the fountains are lit up
and all the trials I’ve been tasked with
are done. I’ve traveled the underworld,
cakes in hand; kept my coin
for the ferryman. I wandered in the dark,
cards close to my chest
and when the lost souls cried to me,
they didn’t know my real name.
There are so many rooms in the house of sleep,
and for too long,
I’ve been pacing the hallway
listening to things clatter from behind locked doors,
and I’ve been too tired to stop
and search my cluttered pockets
for the keys.
It’s easy to talk myself into
believing this isn’t necessary,
that I have everything I need
in this narrow corridor—
but last night sleep possessed me
on the couch, still in my coat.
There was no arguing with it…
A discreet sort of madness
in the raw opal of my iris,
a blue flame that sets me apart—
intriguing and sly,
quick as a comet—
but this didn’t come from the sky
or from some stardust I swallowed
that forever poisoned me
with its brilliance
so I have to give credit
where credit is due:
the reason for me,
I can’t escape
for L.T. Rest in adventure, friend… you are cherished and remembered forever.
if you read between the lines
that striate my iris,
you’ll find a hidden reservoir of blue
with a name written on the other side
in invisible ink—
a poem written so long ago
and with such a young and heavy hand
that pen trespassed paper and broke into sky,
until I cried because no page could contain
the words that could describe him—
Did you hear the story
about the girl who loved too much?
So much she couldn’t have it.
She’d lived through famines
and learned to count rice-grains.
There was never enough cake
to eat it too (or eat for two?)—
so she’d take a bite.
Save the wrapper,
put it back on the shelf.
Wanted it to last forever…
They lumber through empty places
with their slow impossible loads
through lonely mountain spaces,
along rivers and past roads.
With their slow impossible loads,
they pull the weight of consumption
along rivers and past roads
toward some kind of junction…
…An umbilicus connects us.
Not a silver thread,
but a twisted life-stem
wrapping around us,
pulsing with our conjoined blood.
We’ve traveled so far
from the city of the ordinary.
I let you carry me
tucked in your pocket,
hidden inside your blueprints,
wrapped around your little finger.
I’m going to be your banyan tree
in the darkest forests
of your cerebral cortex…
Love me love me love me
they say from under the sheets
where you collapse in exhaustion,
from inside the denim sheaths
that dye them blue with indigo
that washes down the drain
with soap when you shave them…