To the Dead Man Living Inside My Knee
A careless dictator, most days
I do not think of you
unless you protest, beating your fists
against the walls of my flesh
when I’ve danced you too hard
or damp February
clenches your teeth
into a knot of hot fury. Please
forgive my tendency
to fall up subway station stairs.
This can’t be
the afterlife you imagined:
those wobbly cobblestones
skirting Jane Street
we ran in stilettoes
outpacing a chestnut police horse
weaving gridlocked traffic.
for not giving up on me.
For kneeling quietly in pew after pew.
What have I given you
but four more presidencies,
hitchhiking three countries,
and countless times
we’ve fallen asleep
in economy class? I never
for our last dance with Alice,
how you let me lift her
from the conference room carpet
and we kissed California
goodbye. Thank you
for keeping me upright
when the phone sounded
and I knew
I never thanked you
for the way you buckled
but held fast, for the way
we walked on
and on until you screamed
and I hurt less
or differently. Please
keep carrying me.
What I Thought Was Light Pollution Was Really God
Rosy omni-glow swatches my walls
turning dust into tiny star-drifts. Most nights
I walk beneath constellations of streetlights.
Broadway billboards shuffling neon
ignite that silica shimmer I love—sidewalks
set to glimmer and deflect rain.
Red rolling over blue folded into siren scream—
ambulances I called for my Alices.
Don’t think of them. The way it ended. We began
in the grass, on our backs, legs
lifted in the air so we could grind clouds and supernovas
beneath our heels. Imagine the dust
spilling from all those nebulae we might have crushed.
Maybe the old Gods were just
as reckless. Wrong to turn warriors
into zodiacs and birds—
to give them flight—to give them their own
gravity and light.