Let me tell you something about the human
heart. It's there
in the black paper cameo cutout shadow of a girl spinning a barrel hoop against
an almond wall by de Chirico. A nurse turns her back on
an amputated leg
waiting in motley for the orderly
to bring order. She lingers like a petroleum slick
prism in a ships wake, allows
herself a whiff of the ether depleted cotton gauze. The metallic
teeth continue their consumption without her regard.
Dinghy fingers arrange her
Cherry stones on a sheet of paper napkin. “How much
for the canary?” Someone asks,
their fingertip endures the avian nibbling
through the copper fugue.
“What's the rush?” A violinist
asks the commuter stumbling toward
the open doors of a subway car,
his green satin lined case reeking with pennies.
And yet there's time
for hills to stroke the chin hair of clouds
aging as they pass, alchemical agents,
shifting like balloons inflated by a magician’s assistant and
delivered to this illusionist’s hand for
An ocean has flowed through
a clam tongue, sucked out of its halved
shell and turned into the sated diners
ashtray. He and his dining companions
exhalations consummate against the plate glass
windows, violet within the inconsistent neon
there is mercy in the rain,
This is not the letter that I expected to receive from you
Absent so of apology but
Filled instead with reports of bad weather; “one
Of the chickens passed and a few of the
As a result
forgone the laying of eggs.”
You say that you have taken to wrapping camphor
In burlap and storing it in the attic
To keep the beetles out of
The roof beams
Where last summer while
Putting up the winter things
You swore that you saw
Dry bat guano and “the grasping
Tiny little claw marks of their rat
Reminiscent fists groping out toward
The dark they find
That’s behind the both of us now
Like asbestos and rubber steam rising off the Carolina asphalt
With one arm I
Held you still
Against the cars velocity a
Law of thermodynamics about bodies in
Motion tending to stay so
Cut off by a careless drunk in the
As we came to a complete
As yet still in that rare moment
An unharmed soft stop.
Saturday with Pa
A red bull is in the meadow.
There are bees in the corn.
A dull green warbler sings harmony just out of sight.
The hounds cannot bear to look us in the eye. Their mongrel lips dark with forage.
We annihilate mass with speed.
Like nodes of electric
Horses hurry before the whip
A shuffling of pigment above
Drawn thieves dangling from the boughs
Sappho with your null parenthesis like
An Arabic zero
Holding the place of everything to come before or since