Freyja, or How I Became the Snake that Even in the Garden Eats Itself
i tried something awful
at the edge
of a koi pond
an olive film
i loved her. in years i found
if i hit my palm against my jaw hard & fast
under running water it created
a band of fuzzy light
& done again
the ringing was renewal. we walked the path
intact once more.
attended flinders rose,
hollyhock, first white petaled
caper bloom. then every slap
a fewer flower. goodbye waterlily,
nameless blossom, the pool of prized fish
one broth transfusing. a wish.
my tired hands.
I could lie here forever. Until
what a long night that is. Better
its natural course. Permission is better
for the body.
All considered. I want
to ferry you to morning. These fingers
entwined, these voices
Parsimony of the sacred things. How
I sank where the waters rejected Jesus, how
you well up
inside the holy places.
How I couch my collapsible
inside yours, murmuring
Mm, Mm, and again
and then the monocracy of sleep.
Aubade with Death & Good Fortune
Here. Half the chubby little bird
pecking at the tree limbs. Half a window
seat, half the sunrays fastened.
Half a stomping ground. The tic-tac-
toe of worm dens. The riven turf
above them. A single yellow-petal
sprouting leafless from the mud. Today’s
representation of death is mother’s
mother. In her honor I volunteer my hair
to the hair gods. I equivocate my word
with prayer. Call it secular white man prayer.
In the time taken to write this
the little bird has doubled over into a tuft of wheat-
grass. I have begun subscribing to transfiguration.
It’s one of those free trial things.
Mine’s one of those lives where you get free
trial things. The vitriol alleviated without consequence
an hour after the news arrived. A sign of mild
improvement. Mine’s the kind of life where death
can be used to track improvement. I will
probably succumb to age as well. Every year
the ligaments blanching, the blood creamier. Grand-
mother has passed on. The worms tunnel underground,
the bird remains transformed. A synapse
runs the grass blades. She could still become
those dappled stories called elm seed bugs.
They find a home in spring. They eat elm seeds,
linden. I would be remiss if I did not express.
I knew I’d lose to love. Leaves had fallen
in my weeping, but so scattered. And so many.