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.
a heavyweight drugged;
lungs and concrete,
tadpoles and lust.
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?
i feel sad,
and the blankets
crumpled at my knees
are cozy and serious.
yesterday was my birthday.
she’s back in the ring of things,
gloves off, ready to fight.
is she crying? or is it sweat?
i never could tell
except for up close.
i hate watching
her feel it,
loose and desperate lunges.
contact at last, and
i sigh, turn my phone off,
and slide further under the blankets.
touch a tiger,
make it true.
then it will come back to you.
her and garages and maple leaves and sweaters and coats and buttons and shoes and dates to that italian place. hand holding and birds nesting and ponds growing and then shrinking. grocery stores and old boots and windowsills and paint buckets. ice on the tip of your nose and the constant overwhelming heat of your being and bands of freckles and a surprise tattoo. sunsets and summer camps and sleeping bags. listening to my favorite song as i walk across campus in white light and strutting a little. aquariums and sailboats and eddying currents and blue crabs and claw pops and beach chairs and hot dogs. babysitters and soccer games and snowcones and county fairs. words and wings and good books and poetry and magnets and old posters. keys hung up on a wall and a dish for coins and talking about politics and energy and people and colors and health scares. warm chapstick and teacups and zipping up dresses. sand in the sheets and flip flops and acorns and yardwork. weird euro-trips and train rides and bus coins and cafes on rivers and knowing the bartender. the idea of stars and gravity and cosmic evolution and Darwin’s evolution and the smallness of us and the bigness of our dreams and again, the smallness of us and and the bigness of time. sunscreen and backpacks and stacks of papers and dustpans. rainstorms and puddles and fitting under one umbrella. kissing and baking and writing and smiling and meeting parents and brothers. riverbeds and going to the ballet and ice cream cones and a few drinks too many. lisping voices and one wandering eye. tights and bathrooms and baths and bathwater. goosebumps and old shoes and dust floating past bright windows. making sandwiches and bicycle riding and waterpark swimming and bottled sodas and movie theaters and park benches. sometimes getting tired of each other but always missing you after just a few thinks and finding new freckles and hands under sheets and cold march mornings. the perfect stillness of waking up next to you. all is quiet in our house.