zero


and such orbs are pierced
toothpicks through olives
pins studding balloons
a tree’s roots into this rock
knitting needle through eye

i buried a clot of blood beneath
clods of earth and leaked some
vitreous fluid onto your manuscript
you were writing a song
no, you were writing ‘a song’
on the page over and over again
but there was no music.

i lent you my neck and you took
a syringe of my blood
i gave you an inch and you took
a cross-continental lurch
across wrinkled bedsheets
and we mapped our yearning
for more bones to add to our
necklaces and hearts with
their coconut creme fillings.

the charade of the existence
of negative numbers wrote
itself on the inside of a skull
cradled in a dust-covered hand
while the dental records burned
quietly in the corner and
we knew we were at zero
and that was enough.

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insideout

my face is turned in toward my brain that is suspended in fluid and tethered by my spine and shaped like a pomegranate. as i stare at this gray matter it bumps up against my nose and brushes my lips and here i think i will find the answers. (i find my lobes are discriminatory–here is the memory of your hands over mine, there is the image of a salt flat). on the outside, where my face should be, is a smooth vast plain of skin where my features have sunken in and reversed because the brain is much easier to dissect when i can see directly inside, when i can taste its briny fissures with my tongue. (fissures become canyons where i wander in search of memory. but the memory of you is somewhere other than just my brain.)

old images


return to old images: the sea, the quarry, the heart,
though they are all really the same thing. i try to
gauge my memory like a galileo thermometer, color-
coding each floating tag with words to differentiate
between them and the dream: this happened here, this
happened then. but what is happening now. the present
is always there yet is always so elusive, like trying
to grab water from the spring of permanence, which
at least you know for sure is part of the dream.
in the quarry i mine for something greater than
gold, but i cannot tell you what it is for i do
not yet know myself. the sea has a permanent low
tide, and no longer remembers me. and the heart–
my heart is a vast room that i fill with furniture
that sinks into the floor and leaves me nothing to
rest on. there are wet cement prints from where i
walk that never dry, only smear until i can’t tell
where i once walked and where i thought you followed
me. now i move in circles, tracing back over my own
steps, where i trip and fall and trip and fall
and still do not wake up.