The foreign affairs begin to hurt. They call each
other repeatedly, the phone bills fat as children. ‘Look,
baby,’ he says. ‘Look, baby,’ he says. And for all the
looking there ought to be a view wide as fourteen hills, four
windows. What do you need? Twice daily the garbage scow,
praised by white gulls, turns up at Fresh Kills. The bird of
love whacks her head. Never very quick with the badminton
racket? Too many holes. Must one go entirely through
one’s head? He took off his shoes so his feet could
expand, fill the space left by retreating ice ages. The jagged
hole offered a way to go. So who here is considering taking
it? There are the birds on the hanging rope; world is
sidewise, I guess; who’s dangling on the line, baby? If he
jerks they’ll jump off, their arms rustly with hundreds of
black feathers like ratty sleeves; if, on the line he
jerks involuntarily, the water pushing against his face like
a hand, the birds will dive toward rescue. The news collected in
the bottom of the envelope like sediment, a black
line. Around the pilings of the docks curly
rainbows bob like half-burnt flags; you want to fish
them out. I’ll help peg them up on the off-white warehouse
wall. Then comes the getting off gracefully; put down that beating
tongue; it’ll flop a minute after but will relax, stretch
out flat like a dancer with a muscle in her back sore. Forced
pause. The birds are coming back but the line is
slack. They circle in a black band. And now? The curtains
slap together on his reflection, sway over his emptied shoes.
more air on the tracks
Every word came out a prayer.
At the top of the stratosphere a molecule shook loose.
I invite the waters.
There are many more colors that will stay still.
Suspicious? You think it might not be poison?
Include here a soap bubble.
The hearings dragged on past the listening.
Let’s adopt it, stroke it, dress it in the enemy’s colors.
I bite off your finger because it is in my mouth. Such things happen.
The end of the world? Pretty close!
Give me one and I will return one, or, if I feel up to it, carry it out.
The last of the robed monks joined the line for the mic.
slowly rowing this breath like a skate-bug upon a molasses of gravity
Suddenly I couldn’t walk. I looked for the next step in other faces.
The money is dangerous too.
Electric lights small among novenas.
I read what the author said. Explain it to me.
How far has the ground gotten from us? Will it come back?
Your stair karma is precipitous.
In the back corner of the bad closet leans the black broom.
The categories of revelation fill up to thirty-three tablets.
His search for breath turned over the song.
We don’t know where we are. We open the wrong maps.
Which were the beautiful monsters?
A circle of blue rests like a crown on the heart she creeps through.