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(from NOTHING GRANTED)

All angels listen, but I’d much rather sit

in silence as light becomes more. Wood arm

reaching across what I don’t even know. I’ve been

to the center & through. So simple. The shadow

continues, always gets back to me. Come

get your piece of beam fallen into the elaborate

design. Girl, for three days it’s unclear

& I return too attached, not unlike the way

I take the bus to get back to myself after

the road, the spaces that have no place in me.

Not unlike country, jet, the way I trace

over moments with you so cold I couldn’t

even drive. You are no one I recognize.

The line disappears &, working so hard, re-

appears to become exactly what it was. I missed

the whole summer reaching far into girls

from Miami. Seems the light is responsible.

I’d like to be the word you know, able to say this

to you: we know the light works. To believe

you are dying at the end of the night, skipping

past numbers. Don’t lie about a garden

with trees full of money. I get it, you

sit in your black dress, too tired to imagine

the rest of the down payment. An old suitor,

possibly too forceful, is still what you’ll never forget.

Impossibly in love, wrists are heavy.

Every angel leans forward, looks into your eyes,

fucks with you. The diamonds close as if

you were all by yourself.

 

 

(from NOTHING GRANTED)

Cut grass your back / aching the young angel’s closed / eyes for a moment

before I kissed what I believed was silence / when I asked / the buzz started up

nobody / belongs to your lips / I pulled you toward me / I kissed / like a bee

in a glass jar / it’s yours how my mind buzzes / but the bee is in my mouth 

coming home an angel / for the buzzing / sometimes is so quiet / night is

nervous / hit the lights I know / it’s there / I’ve tried to tempt it out

know we’re fucking / out of spite weeding / the garden I nuzzle / my cheek

against thick-veined petals / rising like nine a.m. / more fly in / I have

to touch you / suddenly lifted into the cradle / of the gun for all

my angels in the back / a kind of anger: an open flower / a prairie

like the city a little / past bloom & still / unattended / the map

on how close / a body can come / to having wings / pick & play me

as if I were made for you / what was I made for? / half a million

knowing / I imagined death / thrillingly: my arms held / the streets

I know I didn’t / grow the whole of me / bending like angels

before you / see how my hands go on / don’t know what’s getting

to me / the thought of it / or how I fold & fold / the rush

or your enemy’s hand / I am not / great somewhere / you

don’t realize this / swoon with a love / I cannot reciprocate

 

 

(from NOTHING GRANTED)

Pebbles, leaves, rain disappear aggressive, like I should be

a shadow of black branches, way more dismissive

of bark peeling off thick & burnt, I should be

on my best behavior to disappear

but we don’t disappear, major like angels

in the breeze. It brushes the way like I didn’t study

the sides of our arms (rustle of dry leaf against letter). Under-

stand that I’m wood, quick inhale, not the same

man doing it better. This is a world, let’s make that

clear, where I keep us, granted there are some sadnesses

that should feel guilty for saying In which I long for

God. A minor point: the angels go by without hurry,

edging thoughts near to me. Even in my new dress,

it’s worth it to have everyone I love right here to talk to,

& Paris, wet says for once, goodnight to itself. What if I could?

Life forces us to not wonder what will happen

but open calm. I told her she could live wide

without asking. I wondered what I did

to let hope settle at the window. Think of when

you slammed the lid down on jazz, the twilight

when you reopened it, how hope walked right past,

gnat-like, & courtship rattled out. Did you

feel the hallways? Three months later,

the cars go by. We have lots

he probably wouldn’t remember. I hope

something nice will happen

after all, few large stars overhead

Believe when he called me irretrievable

& obedient, it could happen to you

& did.

 

 

(from NOTHING GRANTED)

an instrument he is tuning / a worldwide mess / yes still family

adjusting the mask adjusting / the instrument to look through me

the sky said many of us told him (with stars) / there was a soul

a god & less is more / angel / plenty of cake too / I look down

at the cake I got / shattered glass / glitter the angels

upped the moonlight / it doesn’t seem right / it wouldn’t

get red / crowds erupting / like static: fruit-crowned

freckled / look at me now / raising the goblet in this white icing gown

I’m just getting started / I look down give up / gather what I’ve done

the hair I remove from my neck / like millions of tomorrows

who told me you made millions / who told me god was personal

plausible / millions made tick-tock / the parades begin they look

more alert now / they quiet my feelings / my eyes

summon the bloodshot / like a cold day the curtains chase / the air

thick with dust I am / all interruption & crash / last night was my mouth

fresh out of Jesus / embarrassed I open / look happy to be here

in a glass cup / I try to hold the stillness / my mouth should alert angels

when a handkerchief falls / when I drop / say the moment is still

going on / the lamp of my generation / at the end of the table

coating the room with something / different like I should be / less