I am a brittle listener, but now I know:
You saw the smallest things. With toothpicks you’d twirl and fan and build a tiny house.
I crashed and burned through woods. I couldn’t see one leaf, one piece of bark. I grew them in my head. I brought them into being and took them out. I was a lord.
We grew. We intertwined. We pushed and pulled each other straightening here and bending there. We lived.
I became small with you so I could dive into your glass. Do backstroke while you tended us small things.
To balance on a spoon, to wear lungs on our back, to center on a pinpoint deep inside while falling from great lengths
After you left,
we did that.
If I were to drink from the wrought iron, desperation would quickly fill the room.
If I were to glance behind me, I would grow brittle and break apart.
If I were to let the scent of nourishment waft up and up, I would starve.
I think that if I were to be myself, there would be nothing left at all.
I would desiccate, I would hunger and thirst.
Desolation would always haunt my horizons vertically like an X.
If the uncaused cause were to touch me, if the cold stars were to be in my blood, if in my mind were the small but essential pieces of everything
Would I care or would I float away?
There’s a deep anchor in my belly to the ground where it hurts but I see now there’s a settled dark center with light
The world’s a tube small tight a womb scent fraught with death. Or life. It’s just a seam that separates
When death is born, like life, there’s rushing fear and pain. Both leave a sleepless child to rip the tending from my chest. The dark mouth of young death: the only respite’s tears
It’s the lack of living mass by so weaving with the mind spark laying rolling round the gaping hole in ever tightening grip and vice, I try though I never
am to wring a passable texture there
There is no reconciliation between a living being and space.
Give up. It’s closed, she says with her small hands. Her cool cheek settles against mine. And then the blindness darks to truth of neither height nor depth
The world just isn’t the same because some people are never really gone. While others slip away so quickly (quite tired of the earth). Whatever is, it is in spite of death. And, dear black death, you’ve grown. The hues we carry on our backs and in embolden our descent as we become much more of who we really are.
Abduct bones (they don’t like being alone). Calm delirium (with cool towels or strong words). Eavesdrop on a frigate (it hums). Go hoarse (the lack of voice, you’ll be surprised). Ingest pain (don’t try to spit it out. It doesn’t work that way). Know life-longitude (as soon as life says but not any earlier). Magnify nails (how do things stay up? That’s important). Open pearls (without breaking them). Quiet the rain (by absorbing it). Soothe turns (they get dizzy and need a hug). Unveil a veil (gently. There is a small child inside). Watch. Always watch (from a sunny hillside).
There’s a square box in my chest. With Something in it. (Life’s elastic, now I’m sure). Your hands. Their hands. My hands. Love
Flows from the space and is decidedly blue. I liked to be in all the rooms of my house then. My house alone. In that box
Only you, me and the box know. I don’t know how to say what’s in there. Only it’s a room arranged in a certain way. My
Inside steadies with hands and stands on Legs there. Dark tall boxes adorn and I can’t see the shorter ones across. It’s too
Crowded. The room’s too small. Maybe I Don’t fit there anymore. But you’re still There and I can’t piece it all together. I
Can’t think of you alive anymore when I’m in the closet and the bathroom. You also were the taker of the blind white
And my twisted scenes. I’m saving it here in this box an incongruous part of us in case some day I might find the other
Pieces and make it all fit.
It’s the edges that unsettle me, here in the dark of an unknown room. They hide horror. (Slip your hand down the edge. Slip your hand into its morass, the tar pit, the murky water.) The edges of a hole I will never understand only the dread, the cold sweat of a cratered body. Bottomless circles have a way of swallowing up order that way.
But, it goes deeper. I’ve always run from edges. The time edge of a night, a precipice of mind death but worse since awakening was assured and those recurring holes filled my waking life with a texture that was dripping and crawling. Human life encased in a shell of naturally clustered holes risked everything. It made the matter in between the holes erratic, thin. It made waking look grotesquely accidental (though I’m sure it is not when I bob and float in my brain liquid).
For a long time and being a practical person I tried to lengthen the time between sleep. This was for sure the method by which I would patch up my cratered existence; not just its surface but deeper. Filling in the dangerously empty tunnels of sleep that surely led to a blistering infection at the bottom with need of cauterizing.
But after 30 years my body gave out and I could no longer engineer the bridges that cleaned and disinfected the relentless worming. In the holes there are not rats or snakes or stench as I encapsulate in the front of my head where my unease bellows and blows. It must be more that there is nothing or a change.
And, if the matter would all stay fixed and malleable that’s all I can fit but a nothing starts with an edge and that’s what I cannot accept. The edge is a dreadful angle.
And in it maybe there is rest.
To drive down a country road
Moving forward, looking back
Thinking I might record the backwards motion
Yearning to stop for no reason except a still lake, except a red barn motionless, except an enormous bale of hay like a lazy good natured animal sunning purposefully.
And then returning not having done any of that but the anchor of next time the anchor that starts to drop from my head to the world loosening from the nethers into the void of dropping
And, knowing suddenly brightly (like I know a death that’s come) that the trees have always been with me (in different shapes and sizes) from the very beginning the ones lining the road, the old ones outside my children’s window, the pine trees with the pine cones that I’d never seen before (evergreen), the one that made me afraid to pull back bark, the one holding the songbirds outside my grandmother’s window in the yellow distance of the day when my knowing rose like it rises now with them
(silent swaying living watchers)
Clear glass true desire to hurt
[when we are small we guarantee love with pain
A child to dance towards light through hate
(transparently fistfuls of hair and clay)
He loved me I
With barely nothing there.
He’d cry [I’d triumph] and I’d still.
My skin’d wear easy for a while,
Sedate with someone else’s tears.
Maquina lights punk them and we like it.
We pick up our lungs. We sling them on our backs so they still work.
For us things are always like that. Sometimes we fight in the streets.
But only if it’s true. We have secret alliances, but only if they work.
We believe in different things but it doesn’t matter. Because we all breathe
Under the water lights.