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.

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.

 

You struck the rock, prophet

with a shovel until 

yellow cryptograms strewn out

rose in the breeze relieved the

rustling of bible leaves on your neck.

Broke your voice for us like

a pomegranate offered me a seed

with pain in your face I liked

to stare at and searching

my head frantic, your eyes were a little boy

 

some treasure always spread encrusted

under the first layer of earth

handed us linens and grandmother quilts

to cover over ground. You ached 

for a death 

we’d need to stir the dirt

a stir perhaps pull out a waif

in your old clothes. people-

clients told me despite it all

I looked like the soul

of my father. A sacred pause

in me each instance. That night

I stirred through my head words 

to find a gentle lure for your ghost

without you even knowing. 

You had a secret name fermenting

Under my tongue. I smiled and

It went yellow in my mouth.

 

A budding unseen burial

Ring shinnied silver tones

In my bone where you were

 

This is what you do in

Tiny doses. My medication

Never beamed old history lights

 

Or pinstripe lights your fingertips

Through a womb of dust

Stirred a new pigment.

 

The black broth, the cream fissures

in particle trails like living sprites

foam in swirls to the crust of my goblet

in plumes of white steam, bellowing

and bathing my skin in ink

giving me breath and old ideas

this liquid flushes our bodies of impurities

while we sit in the thick, sticky dark

of twilight June.

We both have work today.

a broken ballad of sweet cherry wounds and where they come from

 

When it’s time to undress, I hook my lip like a curtain

pulled back, and it’s what you’d expect.

A grimy finger digging a gemstone ulcer, the sore utterance

that sat salted and festering just inside my cheek for 2 years.

I bite it when I speak, fall asleep to its pulsing ache

and wake up with a lolling head full of seawater,

but I do not bleed.

 

I did bleed from the knee

when I was 14 and fell from my bike,

watched the glittering cherry-pie opening in my skin

as it stitched itself hair by hair together before my father

saw. Before he could find out I zoomed to the elementary school

down the road to meet on the tracks with a boy from second grade

who I’d converted to Christianity.

 

A tiny backpack-bible had sat on my desk like a brick

and seeped stone juice, I recall crisply how my mouth watered

at the gold-leaf paper, wafting the same smells as cherry wounds

I’d forced myself not to drink though I ached to:

I’d like to rend my cracked lips and suck their supple

blistering sin from my skin like a mother lioness.

I’d like to nurse the fruit-rot dessert into ingrown fruition.

 

If I hadn’t eaten my bible, maybe I’d have blossomed

In yellow explosions like the honeysuckle I pointed out to you

along the railroad tracks, maybe my father’s face wouldn’t

have contorted like rotted vines, maybe he’d not have

retreated underground glistening invisibly among

the charred grubs. When they saw my wounds

my family receded like singed frayed

hairs dragged on the dampened sidewalk like

a leash without a dog but the biting under-earth smell

still there, trapped in my own hair, smearing me

across the flat clouded years.

 

Maybe if they’d known that when it bubbles, my cherried palm

crowns nuggets of gold which I eat to glow. Little do they know

I am one of those goldleaves, the rotted tar sugar of cherry

Potholes in the road, the unfurling fresh hot truths from

Broken skin, the chugging of the railroad which

Ticks out the lifecycles of honeysuckle blooms that

Rattle as no train passes.

 

I remember clearly they’d rattle quietly without dropping,

underbrush lilting against the heaven-bound train

towards a sweet Jesus future of endless blood.

crisply speaking stories which taste like distinct copper

filaments found in the body, in the tracks beneath the train,

the human brain, and the innocent glistening wound from

elementary school when time stopped under the sun to

inscribe a girl in god-history

in the neighborhood’s very veins.  

 

So here, I am naked now; this is my body,

My blood and my chugging seawater head

On repeat underneath the empty sidewalk

of my old town, a broken bicycle leaning

in the rain like a rusted shut music-box

streaming copper in silent refrains.