scatter

this is how we change–nautilus chamber, spokes of a wheel
some passion i don’t speak about. i see the growth curl, i see
it siphoning water and glory, i see its breath as it breaks through
the gutter and reaches towards the sky–my waist expands rotted
wood and i feel tendrils of myself steadying, then sinking, then
sinking. peat-moss fingers on me–i kiss them as i would the muzzle
of my lover’s gun and dose myself just to be sure–hazy smoke-filled
thought these days leaves me nostalgic for the past and angry about
what happened then, all those wrongs adding, multiplying, staggering
the numbers–just when i think i will tear you key from key you hit
depressed ivory notes and i can feel the terror in them, the quiet
hatred and the laughing crow and the white egret and the great
blue heron all become one sinuous figure in my mind, a summation
of all the greatest parts of my life–a raindrop staining a window that
you turn from when you hear someone call your name down a hall
in a house that is torn bit by ragged bit from my memory, until all
the edges are worn–i remember who has died and who has remained
and wonder who is the better for it. the sunglint is too much–it blinds
me with its radiant angle, its disastrous glare in the rearview of my
youth, and the sparksun becomes a single point of light–i press it
into your hand, then scatter.

Advertisements

the songs of not-knowing

returning is not an option. the tide has gone out
and taken all the sea glass that i might draw across
my wrists again and again, singing the song of
not-knowing, the worst of all fears.

the dye runs off my tongue and stains your skin
you look towards the rain-washed window
and i instinctively turn my head,
gazing back at myself, naked as a fresh page

that which will survive, only time can see
that seer indifferent to all the little catastrophes
that make up my heartbeats, my breath–
even the trees will eventually shake me loose.

meditations in panama

i sit with my back straight out of habit
not learned from school, which didn’t
teach me much except how to fit an
entire sonnet on the toe of my converse
sneaker in sharpie, how to feint & dodge
and faint & be dislodged to finally settle
in my own ire. my knees have been giving
out on me lately, locking like a canal where
i could see myself rise and set in the same
day over and over again, an unearthly clock-
work bound by laws of science which
fascinated the both of us, but we could
spend our lives theorizing about quantum
existence and it wouldn’t really change
anything, not the way we fight or make
love or read about new developments in
technology, which still hasn’t gotten
anything right about love, and probably
never will.

the first impulse

the first impulse is to lie, to say it didn’t mean anything.
the second impulse is to hold it like a small mammal against
your chest, something to be protected, quicksilver heartbeat
and a fine hairsbreadth away from being true. the third impulse
tells you to run, cortisol in your body, your body that you let
be opened too quickly with a scalpel made of air and words.
but the first impulse is always to tell the truth about things
lighter than a feather on a scale, heavier than the blackest
swallowing doubt. then the second impulse is to say it meant
everything, everything that could be imbued with meaning when
the strawberry moon is resting on my shoulder. that makes the
third impulse one of collapse, of imminent sleep and dreams
where you tell me the truth but i don’t want to hear it.
the first impulse is to lie. no, the first impulse is to tell
the truth.
always go with your instinct.

sea glass 2

i wandered the shore-
line of your mouth
with my hands full of sea glass,
lipped bottles that had touched other lips,
pieces of wrist-wrung melted sand
that had been held in other palms.
the sand had scrubbed me raw
till i turned cloudy and smooth, but
fingerprints are more than just ridges left
on my skin, and somewhere in the folds
are dreams mistaken for memories.
i dream my memories but never remember my dreams.
i feel you as a single grain of sand in my mouth,
but my words are not pearls,
and nobody truly wants bottles
that have already been broken.

still, all water leads to the sea

flooding up to my forehead
where my third eye cries
the deluge of desire
the silt of stillness
in a place where the sun
hazes over and hides
pain pills, pain pulls
i am a swamp that swallows
memory that means nothing–
no, something–
no, everything.
give me meaning that matters
the gift of guilt
do you construe my confusion
as anything other than
what is already inside me?