Faithlisten to this poem
The twinkle of the fetus randomly fades
still a bolus of cells, still barely a watermark
announcing the hidden river of her. Every one
of two of them do.
In the same universe a misfire
paints a teen girl’s day whatever
color means rolling through life and not
in a trucker-country folk-song sort of way.
If you could weave a howl into fabric
and tear it so slowly you could feel
each fiber breaking apart
as if two hands ungrasping
then you would know what animal
greeted me tonight, from outside,
with a death-cry.
In Istanbul, the call to prayer is now
mechanized, set to broadcast by satellites
closer to God than we’ll ever be.
And the rock doves take to the sky in panic
not at the wool-scratch of static
but at the sound of the song
they’ll nevertheless grow to trust.
Coming Homelisten to this poem
All the rooms are one
room full of heat you imagine
the shotgun barrel still
hums in twenty years
after that burst of song. How after
you swung it like an Easter basket
(standing over what pulp
authors call a halo)
loose from your hip. Oh
and did I mention it’s winter here
to crystallize your piss
I suspect you’d appreciate. Never
mind people how
will you bear to hear what these walls have to say?
Come north. I’ll make a home for
and of you, leave a window
bowed, ajar. Snow, dust-
or old lover-like
seems to ask how soon
before you see me coming
does it begin to burn.
My question is from bone
to marrow or otherwise.
Ephemeralisten to this poem
Let me remind you how we met:
flickering screen, gist of womanhood
a presentation to
the failing day of me. Invite it in,
the blood-blue tongue like a bug
to light. Word pulled tight across my hip,
are you breathing? A sea of skin, every hair
a dorsal, glint of sun I call to.
Last year had the hum of a branch
bent to cradle the sun if you
stood beside me. What the redjackets know
there is no easing in. Spreading hand,
a fault line quivering in tune with her lip,
stay. Nothing waits
for you in the ditch of those breaths.
Among organs, skin
a jackal in the streetlight. Fingers leap starward,
a hungry cold paints them black.
On the scale of things we’re not ready for
love is the itch beneath our footfalls.
You ask about the window: don’t
crack it but a little.
We may come apart between screams.
A recent dream: closing up the bar at midnight
I dumped the unused ice
into a sink for melting. Steam rose like it still
was in the bathroom hours
after they pumped your stomach. Meanwhile the ice
instead of melting, caught fire.
The city grows silent when I ask
why they dug your grandfather up
and buried him again, miles away from the family plot.
But based on the way the oldest pines
sway, creak in the wind and quicken
your breath, I know.
Young enough to still be college-bound
your fingers skim the surface of
my jacket, a sound like a single channel isolated
from a mid-summer storm’s recording.
You confess you do this for money.
Fire stirs in the wind’s sleeping belly, wants
to be water, to fit whatever will hold it.
Tight as I’ve held you, midnight vessel
something golden, familiar, seeps through the spider-cracks
interrogating. How many bodies across the room
did you see through, son? I answer in
the falling ember’s infant language
her absence taught it,
me, to speak.
Fail this test, the bone-like sky
and you may as well bare your teeth
to the mothers of the morsels embedded there.
Somewhere, a cold so cold it burns
lives. Soldier, climb down from the fifty-cal;
still air sliced by a single feather
means you’re a minute too late.
Go to sleep. A swarm of futures
cushions every second. Let one you serpent
tongue from the air be us
and taste of rusty water.
Linger, screen, above my wrist.
Remind me how we met.