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A WORD FOR RECKLESS WATER

I remain, my love, a word for reckless

water. My fingertips, dead white

 

moths. A stillness multiplies itself

within my muscles. I, a maternity ward

 

in a ghosts heart, the source of all stranded

things, & if I were a braver man

 

but no. I did not ask for this & so I will slit

its throat & leave it under the apple

 

trees, where I am certain never to look,

beneath that shining medicine. My shadow

 

is sore & we weren’t even dancing. I believe

Im going mad, Lord willing, in this space

 

where I shape you from the feathers of swans,

where I shiver & weep a carrot’s greens,

 

the smothered vows of lightheaded lovers. You

said there is no something without something

 

but I was too swamped becoming a swamp 

to hear. Do you recall? I have traded

 

my memories for a vision of your hands.

There they go again, stitching me into this surly

 

house hunkered down in these woolly

currents, leaving me to the crucial business

 

of tearing the light from my eyes.

 

 

ALL NIGHT LONG I COULD WATCH YOUR HANDS DO THAT

All night long / I could watch / your hands do that / thumbs / floating

across / my eyelids / I dream / men with machine guns / hearing music

for the fist time / violence wilts / around your fingers / I dream / a bird

feathered / in a coat / of your hands / wish to be / snatched by it / stitched

into its nest / fed to its children / I dream / a room / laced in webs / woven

by countless / tiny your-hands / ensnare me / be nourished / by my complex

juices / you caress the space / beneath my belly / where I am / made from

the heart / of a beaten dog / you lace your palms / within this death of me

& there is if not / a resurrection / what remains / when a body is finished

being punished for being / a body

 

 

A DANCE

“…music / trying to tell something the man / does not want out / would keep if he could / gagged and bound and flogged with chords of Joy / where everything is silence and the / beating of a bloody fist upon / a splintered table ”  - Adrienne Rich

It takes an ocean not to break.” - The National

 

Please, give us the room. The song & I, we have a score 

to settle. Understand, I am this ogre. Arms like a necklace 

of novas, hands with the appetites of empires. Each day 

I fold my edges into a soft & civil skin. I dream I’m born 

out of a granite piano - it squats in a meadow & crumbles 

around me. I eat the dust & a dirge goes ballistic in my belly. 

Understand, it is so long since this body last did what is was 

designed to do. & now these drums, hellbent on turning me 

pomegranate, freeing the ruby fists from the walls. My bones 

shiver like rabbits soaked in their mother’s blood. I want to 

take this ocean apart. How long have I bound it to my muscles, 

fortification of salt & pressure, & pressure, & fathoms, corseting 

a reckless unravel? Ocean of O, excuse my terrible ogreness, 

terrible body, terrible size, capable of a terrible faith & such

a terrible joy. Understand, I pull an ocean around me, loose 

a bellow into the tightening dark - it caroms like a bullet, 

gathering, gathering, until it is bigger than my body. & still, 

I keep still - & still, I keep. But amen these guitars. Amen

the hammered keys, taut skin smashed into a gospel of bees. 

Allow me an instant. The full measure of a secret & graceless

praise. Allow me the ocean splintering at my elbows. Allow me 

this thing I keep - a doorway into my own brutal skin, here & 

ferocious, sucking the hot heart out of the song. One moment. 

Me & these instruments. Me & this instrument. & the ocean 

like a ballgown, shredded at my feet. & joy, my new body. O

bright & ogre body. Bloodied. Unbound. Writhing in the glitter.