When I was carrying
something like a life
thought for a moment
what will it be like—
all these smells—
of a private game?
We like to play
in the sand because
we can’t touch
the world the way
we want: we crush
the things we’ll never
see: our bodies
spread open, a baby
Some things exceed.
Some mornings I lift
my shirt and take
a picture, stare
into myself imagining
part of a whole;
imagine the hurt.
I wonder where
my sisters went
and where they will be
the moment I can’t
find you inside
your body. I dream
and dream you into
the most serene
red desert. There
you are full.
I can see it now.
Then There’s a Pair of Us
In a spree of dreams I was you and you
were you were me. As it goes, I kept eyes
fastened to the back of my—your?—head:
the hair that hair dreams of.
The subway should have arrived by ten
but waited for us to remember:
once upon a time we became open
ended, so as to keep the stone
protected. What the dream offered—
a wisp or encounter?—a stony dream
within that dream, and within it: streamers
like the feeling of falling hair. And then,
as in the real story, it wasn’t, we weren’t, there.
These nights, the veil of darkness too thin, I wake
and search for you. Is there any other way
this frantic maze of limbs, tightly trimmed
hedges? I follow your wake
or I am your wake, turbulent ghost to weigh
the destruction. Nobody knows the way
of this hellgoing, this bone-exposed cold, your
books packed and poised on the shelf. Yet I wake—
I wake with vengeance. The way I love.
When you lost what was inside of you
you laid yourself down beneath a tree,
the same tree, the same shade of day
as when our blonde dog lay down to die.
When the grass is still matted down
from a body, you comb it over each day
so it will stay in shape; you mold to it,
curl your spine away from us living.
You fell out of you and went away.
After that, you placed things inside
that were already dead; collected them
like trinkets in a china chest.
Sometimes things are kept alive:
fires that should have been smothered
by wind: embers
but you rekindle them.
Image from Flickr Commons.