i have come to this place because i am
no longer the one i once was,
because it is only in dream-space that we
might reveal ourselves and the stars
would not rage in jealousy.
this is where i tell the truth
for the first time in my life.
i was raised by the earth
cast out by the earth
and now am dead
wandering the earth
gathering silt and loam
the crushed abalone
and the green stems
that grow in the furrows
that run along the highway
all thumbs point north–
no, all thumbs point to the sky
and i am sun-blind and weary
with a dessicated dream under my arm.
we were all asymmetrical desire
the earth remembers me not
and i have come to the city
to revoke the rights of those
who haunt me
to return again to the tide
of human flesh
to bring you my brackish words,
so that you, too, might remember
who you tried so hard to be.
i am an asterisk on the bed, an aster just picked,
hovering over your shoulder with my hands full
of caveats–the truth is, it was never easier
to lie to myself than when i knew i was right
about how much i wanted to fabricate an alternative
to these days where i don’t belong to myself,
never wanted myself, and yet can’t imagine wanting
anything different. a cluster of stars in the pit
of my stomach that give me heartburn will eventually
die one day and then i’ll be sucked back into myself,
complete in my own vast emptiness. if only all of life
were just a matter of physics–my words just free-fall
back up into my mouth when i try to vomit them out
where the lightness of evisceration is not an illusion.
what i fear most is the day when i wake up
and the forsythia are only yellow
and the magnolias are only pink
and my blood is only red–
when i am only able to tell the truth,
but the worthless truth,
about the world.
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
always go with your instinct.