i was looking for vegetables
with a sun stung nape
grubs and pillbugs and silverfish burrowed
and i uncovered
bones of confederates lying still and quiet
in the cool earth
split femurs and arms and vertebrae too
I plucked up the skull by its eyes
well hello to you too sir
fiddler crab pops
cheekbones split air into vetiver fumes
I’ll keep my socks on
eat alphabet soup
trace finger stripes on a dusty table
i tucked a child into my jacket once when he was cold but he’s fine now
my dog pressed his cold pebble nose into my palm once but he’s dead now
you are the bruise shifting under my skin
roam my bones
eat me at the river mouth
puncture veins with your egg tooth
gravity pushes you to pear
on that boat
I write letters to you on gum wrappers
let her press my body into mattress springs
but all i want is you you you
cover me warmly
cut me deeply
leave me loudly
I hold your shirt hem
between my thumb and index
to remind myself that you’re here
that you’re real
and I could graft out a piece of you if I want
I took a fig once but no one saw
no revelation no truth (no sirens neither)
so i’ll stop the car
steal an ear of sweet corn
peel back the silk and bite white
taste chalk dust, drift.
yellowing sheets from sweat
the outline of your body a flippant pear
how long till the screens bore holes in your eyes?
please just leave your room.
you used to have a square jaw but
you swelled from
and lack of movement.
if only your shins didn’t splint, you say. it’d have been so different.
maybe it’s just inertia,
this island you’ve swum to,
alone, burnt, insides aching.
but once you’re there,
you can’t stop.
everything folding into white
yellow roses press at
backlids of my eyes
steady rise till ringing
my edges untie
where are my hands
where is the door
i hope that
a heavyweight drugged;
lungs and concrete,
tadpoles and lust.
i’m thinking about the time i was asleep on your floor,
and you got out of bed
and crawled under the blanket with me
and took my face between your palms
and kissed me slow,
hands up under pajama shirts.
i pulled your hair and you moaned–
i laughed, because
your succulents were watching.
we didn’t talk at all,
laying there in the moonstripes.
instead we listened.
it’s hard to forget
when my dreams keep bringing you back
dark paneled wood hallway
snapping lights flicker
long hallway, could touch either side if i spread my arms out
grimy window panes on the left side
i’m with someone
(i don’t know who)
they’re holding me,
arms wrapped around my shoulders and
my head is tucked onto their chest
she or he doesn’t want me to look but i do
i turn my head left
i realized we’re in a funeral home
the body of someone we know is being treated
they’re dead and they are close.
we pass the embalming room, flat slab of metal.
in the next room, a man in all white is bent over,
supporting the limp body of a dead black man with his shoulder.
the dead's skin is grayish, swollen and shiny.
wearing normal clothes, maybe a sweatshirt and nice pants.
the doctor is holding clippers, and
they buzz loudly as
the doctor cuts his patient's hair.
the neck is bent because this patient is dead.
hair falls in fuzzy patches to his shirt, his pants.
everyone around us judging judging judging
turning their sides and their mouths forming ohs
chitter of cell phone conversations,
gentle foreign langue drifting up up up from a call home and
the whirr of air conditioners and
clack-slap-smick of shoes slapping traps on the wood walk.
the flick of their heads then eyes then brains:
you draw them in sharp-like, blue.
necks snap and I just wonder if it’ll ever calm down,
if you’ll stop.
then warm press of lips and cheek
tastes of salt and bug spray and flowers,
cattails thick wildflower blooded mauve
rasp behind us, side by side on the bench.
you use that false high voice when marketing light-up shoes to strangers
but can you even see what you’re doing
when you’re running like that?
when the whole world collapses and chooses you as center of mass
and a bloodflood rush (it all comes to you)
you are the funnel, the universal bottom.
energy pours in, anxious and ruby, passing through you to somewhere:
but you’re not sure where, are you?
you can sit in orange chairs
toss back your blue hair
and talk to half-friends
about things they’ll never grasp
you won’t see what I’m sifting through.