Ever and Anon
Your fear burns white hot,
right at the spot where your skin
did not touch mine.
So let me tell you all about myself—
about red suns that rose, that set on
the literature of my childhood, on
dreams of running away to live in the woods,
and about all the continua i had to fold
just to find you, you plot device I will use
in another tepid story
that I will not write.
I have trapped you
in the blank white page.
I define myself today
in theories on thoughts and underwear,
(what color is yours?)
the facades that nobody sees, that
I wear like my tobacco hypotension. I am
all vascular falterings, but the blood still shows
in tiny beads
on my cracked white knuckles.
There are many whites—this one
you would wear
like a virgin’s cocaine habit.
The cardinal does not leave for winter; with it
I will streak bright red, all crest and feather,
across frosted backyards.
I cannot leave them silent.
I will speak to every
quiet thing I find.
I read somewhere that they lied
when they said it takes seven years
for every cell in your body to be
only two or three weeks.
So I’m scratching myself
bloody, hoping I can speed
that process up. I need
to get out of the body that hurt you.
But my time is running out.
An overripe sun has burst
over America. The magnetic wind
shrieks, drowning out goodbyes;
a wall of light descends upon us, and
all who look upon it are struck blind.
At last, a worthy opponent.
If we are to die, let it be
at the fiery hands of cruel
Let us now hurry to change, scrub
the cells away. Molt,
that we may be perfect
when we are consumed by our star.
If my very blood has caused me to
sin, I swear to you,
I will spill it.
And we will all go well dressed
to the gallows,
perfect and new this
one last time.
A Thousand Times Forward
ancient sturdy limbs, a canopy to spread
with sheltering reliability overhead, with a love that
flows in sugared sap
up through my very core.
I want to drive these budding knuckles
into my mother’s decay,
hold stubborn and fast to that potting soil Home.
I want to show you everything I have seen,
to make you the sum of us. And
let us live this way: reaching
ever higher with a patient enthusiasm, and
reaching into the womb,
I want to throw life everywhere,
pay it a thousand times forward,
because surely, somewhere,
life will find good earth.
Waking Up on Your Sofa
These are the red octobers,
The months that unfurl like a matador’s blood,
And are gathered up in private cups,
Each man a personal
Caesar, and each a private
For two nights behind a stone I
Stayed awake, because I
Had no more to give you than sleep, and I
Woke with a conviction that withered
In the sun’s content, and molted like an addiction.
Morning found your fingers buried in my bloody wrist, and mine
Inside the morning mist—you
Love me when I’m not sober, and
Bitch, I’m back out my coma.
Frater Ronald was a great man, you say—your
Nightly routine, a movie to relax.
You want me on top, you say,
But we can’t both be—your
Morning routine, a reckless need to dominate,
To get me tearing at the walls
Like the people in their chains—Oh the flourish
With which you defund public transportation,
Your motorcade tinted and
American made, though perhaps leaking antifreeze.
Can you feel it trickle down?
No, the inaugural date lingers your desires,
A December moon overhead which looks
Like the face of a clock and shouts, hands bound,
To comfort, “And all’s well!”
Carter now sits halfway off-stage,
Contorted in the penultimate violence of true theater. Sing,
O Muse, of the rape of his solar panels, the weeping
And gnashing of teeth as the great
Obelisk shot shadow on the streets.
He sins who wastes his seed on the ground,
He the tree-hugger, naive in political nakedness,
His skin running mercury below that
December moon, a trapezoid
On half the bed above which he kneels,
And this the advent of Reagan incarnate
Once again, a scandal and a winning smile.
By Way of Proof
I’m calling to collect, concede concern,
exploit and disregard apologies.
There are no sorries left, no water fetched,
no tumbling after broken crowns, and down
these hills I’ll plummet, still contrite, or limp,
or lying all the way. The debt remains,
a debt these limbs will leave unpaid again.
Instead, attrition tenders credit’s claims,
in tendon and in spid’ring bones, the wrist,
in fingers’ sins, the fungal sex of dirt,
or cartilage. You owe me for my sweat,
and for the cells you’ve stolen scratching. A
sincerely untold doubt is written there,
in epithelial loss and potting soil,
in unstill space, still air still being filled
with color and your hips’ conjecture still
so absolute, and killed—so fucking dead.
With tendons sore (and aching to remind:
the mind is only strong because the hand
can bear the force), I told you I did not
believe in falling. Maybe I believe
in jumping; maybe I believe in sounds
of bodies splattering upon the ground.