Black ground eats the light of every heavenly expression
in this ungratified November night. We watch the dissipation
of vapor and mist, endearing darkness further to itself,
betraying the tranquility of nocturnal harvest, the lunatic
scraps of this moment fighting to keep their particular bearing.
In this nearness, I measure the asymmetry of your features
with my own, revealed by a sudden and gradual intrusion of
amber, a different time of a different year, tresses of tangible
air igniting the pores of our skin, and even so, we maintain
that we are the uniqueness of our own transparency. And
because this feels like shared togetherness, we embrace, sliding
through and past each other into other seasons, other countries,
knowing less of each other than we would have ever believed.
I thought I understood the dialect of your mouth, your vision,
the unbearable absence of your regard, the countenance of
roots and persona of a river’s delta, but I’m just a memory
of myself, and you, an imitation of even that. How bittersweet
is this plunder of air, this vacancy of clouds, the unavoidable
transfiguring from then into now?
Sojourn of Bonfire
Nobody could understand the faintness
found outside the song of our summoning;
sounds that seemed to determine
the fate of this coastland marinade
and the exigency of unnecessary hormones.
When I finger-poke you in the side
it’s not to annoy you but to keep you alive
and attentive to the sojourn of bonfire.
And as I hold you here, treading blue
in the absence of Mexico,
it gives me pleasure to think
of all the marginal realities rejected,
the deaths of our previous and future selves,
savoring the music of inexorable downfall;
the voice of the ocean is a cathedral bell
ringing long after the conclusion of its call.
The Cutting Arm
You needed help
and because I neglected to give it
your favorite ceramic cat was never found
and the reddened sheets stayed bunched in a heap
in an oversized trash bag
near the front door.
You made the mistake of falling in love
with things and ideas
and gave none of your attention
to disconsolate matters that created
the filaments of life
or caused the vendetta in your lithe hands.
I’m enamored with the idea
that your choices are cast with inevitability
and even more so with the remnant tinge
of strawberry stain that still lingers in your hair.
I may be just one of the old men drinking coffee
in a donut shop late at night
as you tend to an array of simple needs,
observing erratic orbits of sadness
or I may be a different sort of man
staring at an unshaded framework brought low
by an involuntary lapse of moon,
watching you watching them watching you.