Poetry

To Nobody

You are beyond intrigue, luminescent when you fill a room.
I adore the flip of your feathery hair, the chestnut glow, your essence
I am filled with light and softness
Your laugh is the very meaning of joy.
I appreciate your nose. Your jaw, your shape, the way you light up and crinkle under your own smile, shyly, boldly, blushing.

I am here I am back in NYC again. 

I woke this day to the release of bus exhaust

and toddler cries, amazed that I slept, batted

a beam of squeezed city sun from my eye and sat up.

It’s time I was a reliable conductor of 

these cascading passengers named each 

different types of anxieties one by one

by one thousand if the train leaves the 

station too early or uptown rather 

than down leaving the cavity 

of my wordless mouth in its place

before I can step onto the platform

the brainpan vacated like-

Until you’ve slept on river rocks alone

Or worn a dying shroud of ants like lace

You’ve loosed your cold water skin from the bone

Clutched your self closed curled down, chanting grace

To the ancestors in your wounds who drink

The screams of nations for their strength, wipe the

Red from your mouth like a honeybee, gorged

On the ember of the salt and burn.

But a flick,

And their drums clamoring up,

Ashes to ancestry

Descendants to dust.

Trying is digging up under old skin

Try writing about pain.
Never rests on the skin it is
Within inside, the depths, always,
the down the browbeaten city by city
Tar-black for miles open wounded rubble
Un-glowed organs sticking under bridges
Reverse emanation, the dusty heat and exhaust
A filthy wilted wrist like a child’s and
Is brown. Is brown like a sinking ship
The splintered wood like incense
Brown and thusly dim
Scrub it raw til it—
So many things are like,
Something that doesn’t
Exist in language.

Each photograph mother stark with specific eyes.
Ghostly bright in search, tearing fear
Fearing find or a fresh fruit-crisp birth next
Formula tubes too formulated to rot second chances,
Third chance, a headdress of food stamps,
Pa’lante.

You my ever looming father sleeveless
battered body leant to a small cat.
You emanated into her
your stored, storm, clearwater countenance boiling
Out into not saying everything ever and you cupped,
Vowing your rough palms,
Your hands around a final marigold when
You shielded it
From sun.

The thinking sound of a wooden spoon in the pot
And the weak light in the living room we
All sat on the purple rug our raw bare legs
We traders and negotiators huddled, handling
Grimy playing cards like runes each others’
Secret-Secreted-Sacred wishes for each other
Standed on trees with purpose
And speaking ourselves bigger and
Beautiful-er with importance
In our network’d vines of a beautiful mind
Worth, necessary, serious, our lives depended,
Listen, I’m serious. My younger brother
Delivered a monologue about galaxies.
Respectfully I injected magic into it with
Two precious careful words settled then
decided them we, lulled
By nodding heads
We all headed out after supper we
Messy-headed dirty-handed brimming
Went away
For who knows a century
Or the length of a new sun a
Whole bible from a
Different universe’s world.

A leaping fire entered me.
It struck alight with each eye.
I wanted burningly nothing more
Nothing nothing more than something
Soft and warm like other human skin
To begin a prelude to a prologue
To a thick brown novel been loved.
To a leafed, winded and heart-heavy
Volume of body shifting architecture
In phrase by through crossed thought
Out phasing crack of the conscious
When it encounters conscience
Twin infants with wide wide eyes
Small curled star clusters with
Prophecies rolled and tucked into
A locket or their necks.

On the nasty human heart

 

Here I’ve really overworked my physical heart. Not the metaphorical manifestation, but the one that has flesh and clumps, compresses and thumps not like a bird, but like the flaring flanks of a horse. The heat of their own selves steams them. As does my heart. The one in my body, the one charging my limbs and spinning my mind with its pulleys. I have heart palpitations which are harmless at best. I have left too many handprints on it, so that it now feels raw to the touch: the sticky red lollipop left on the rug. Hairs twanged all over. It’s disgusting, yes, you reacted correctly. But it’s my non-metaphorical face that you insult when you recoil. It is one in the same–If you didn’t want to feel its grime on your fingers you should have avoided this–A heavy lump, a warm and living spirit clustered like a dying star. It bleeds constellations out onto the desk. I made a print to hang on my forehead. How fucking stupid could I have been? Now what’s left: a scrap of torn paper nailed to my skull dead-center so everyone passing squints and then quickly looks away.