“It’s terrible to think that all I’ve suffered,
and all the suffering I’ve caused, might have arisen
from the lack of a little salt in my brain.”
The moon is a sliver tonight,
or at least it looks it
through the buildings and the trees.
Planted, four, in a row
like towers on a grid,
I wonder if trees can love.
Hedges partially obscure the
street, doing nothing to prevent
the light and sound
that flows past the leaves
like an electric river.
It hits me like the cold splash
of a real river, some time
long ago, though I cannot remember
where, it’s been some years—somewhere
in the mountains where
the snow runoff hurts my skin.
It flows through my system
like a real river. I can feel it
in my temples, in the softening
cup at my cheeks.
The trees in a row begin to look
like a forest, and the rushing of
cars begins to sound like rain
drops on a coursing rill.
The moon fills out, slowly.
Somewhere in the mountains,
now, not years ago,
there is no road, only a river.
There is no light, only the moon.
There is no me, only you.
In the evening, the juniper jumped into bushes,
forming a horizon line that rolled like clouds,
darkness meeting the navy of the sky.
At the top of the great fish bowl, two stars drift—
closer, closer, even as the town jumps into britches.
I sit on cracked ground off a road paved
with its own dust. She asks me what I’m doing
from another state, from the comfort of home.
I’m constantly travelling, yet I know when she’s awake,
finding no one else to follow but me, her hair streaks
the night sky, wanting more diamonds than this,
wanting more descendants than this, wanting
and knowing—stopped asking for more than this.
The voices in the skulls remain silent tonight,
their eyes forever casting down from the willows.
I am everything they ever wanted, standing up
with my feet readied for rain. There, deep
in my nursing heart, a tucked memory—
music drifting from my old cassette stereo,
music meant to make me fall asleep,
music that stays with me in the darkness
as my dreams flash like a sputtering projector
across my eyelids, until the many in the night sky
speak closer into the expanse of time.
“True, I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain,
born from nothing except frivolous imaginations.”
-Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet
My idle brain is tired of paying child support,
my idle body, too, standing with one foot in reason,
the other, mid-air, already leaping.
Fear doesn’t need to be remembered,
and Hell is expression without likeness.
I feel the only way I can, even here,
where the night sky is so bright,
I color the stars black.
I mourn the women I’ll lose, the sirens
in plastic heels that call to me from the woods,
dancing around metal trunks, washing themselves
in rain—the wax in my ears holds as long as love.
She flies across the country to watch me write,
she soaks her body at the beach while I write,
she sleeps while I write, she offers to sit for me
while I write—naked in a chair by candlelight, I write.
Time casts us into different roles, nothing is sure.
I spend my days holding the forms in one hand, turning them
this way and that, stretching their edges, pushing in their sides.
I am older now, I live with the wind at my back.
I want to give everything I’ve ever spent, love in place of lament,
then see the sky as the ocean does.
Time sinks so lightly, I remember life
as fireflies hushed in the woods.
I am less than words now, I am a thought,
where, after we’ve finished everything,
and after the lights have shut off, I hold you.