o little drops

Wade in the water
Wade in the goddamn water

I have been wading

I wade and wade and don’t even know

The water dissolves me

The soothing water

The water as mother

The water is burning

I am ready to burn

I am burning me up

Every day I burn and burn

Every day I lose the wade

I listen for the water

I cannot tell me the water

Words never in or of the water

They are dancing around it

They are pointing to the water

I am pointing to the water

I say look look water!

I say where? View Larger

Wade in the water

Wade in the goddamn water

I have been wading

I wade and wade and don’t even know

The water dissolves me

The soothing water

The water as mother

The water is burning

I am ready to burn

I am burning me up

Every day I burn and burn

Every day I lose the wade

I listen for the water

I cannot tell me the water

Words never in or of the water

They are dancing around it

They are pointing to the water

I am pointing to the water

I say look look water!

I say where?


Exchange

by Rae Armantrout
City of the future in which each subway station’s stairs lead to the ground floor of a casino/ mall.     * What counts is the role defined for each piece by a system of rules saying how it can move, not the stuff the piece is made of.     * In the intersection, a muscular, shirtless man with small American flags tied to each wrist - so that he looks like a wrestler - pushes, no, shoves then catches, a stroller piled high with plastic bags - his stuff.     * City of the future, where a tramway to the top of a peak opens onto a wax museum in which Michael Jackson extends one gloved hand View Larger
by Rae Armantrout

City of the future
in which each subway station’s stairs
lead to the ground floor
of a casino/
mall.

    *

What counts
is the role
defined for each piece
by a system of rules saying
how it can move,
not the stuff
the piece is made of.

    *

In the intersection,
a muscular, shirtless man
with small American
flags tied to each wrist -
so that he looks
like a wrestler -
pushes, no, shoves
then catches, a stroller
piled high with plastic bags -
his stuff.

    *

City of the future,
where a tramway to the top
of a peak
opens onto
a wax museum
in which
Michael Jackson
extends one gloved hand

Fuck
There are people who will tell you that using the word fuck in a poem indicates a serious lapse of taste, or imagination,

or both. It’s vulgar, indecorous, an obscenity that crashes down like an anvil falling through a skylight
to land on a restaurant table, on the white linen, the cut-glass vase of lilacs. But if you were sitting over coffee when the metal
hit your saucer like a missile, wouldn’t that be the first thing you’d say? Wouldn’t you leap back shouting, or at least thinking it,
over and over, bell-note riotously clanging in the church of your brain while the solicitous waiter led you away, wouldn’t you prop
your shaking elbows on the bar and order your first drink in months, telling yourself you were lucky to be alive? And if you wouldn’t
say anything but Mercy or Oh my or Land sakes, well then I don’t want to know you anyway and I don’t give a fuck what you think
of my poem. The world is divided into those whose opinions matter and those who will never have a clue, and if you knew
which one you were I could talk to you, and tell you that sometimes there’s only one word that means what you need it to mean, the way
there’s only one person when you first fall in love, or one infant’s cry that calls forth the burning milk, one name
that you pray to when prayer is what’s left to you. I’m saying in the beginning was the word and it was good, it meant one human
entering another and it’s still what I love, the word made flesh. Fuck me, I say to the one whose lovely body I want close,
and as we fuck I know it’s holy, a psalm, a hymn, a hammer ringing down on an anvil, forging a whole new world.
View Larger

Fuck

There are people who will tell you
that using the word fuck in a poem
indicates a serious lapse
of taste, or imagination,

or both. It’s vulgar,
indecorous, an obscenity
that crashes down like an anvil
falling through a skylight

to land on a restaurant table,
on the white linen, the cut-glass vase of lilacs.
But if you were sitting
over coffee when the metal

hit your saucer like a missile,
wouldn’t that be the first thing
you’d say? Wouldn’t you leap back
shouting, or at least thinking it,

over and over, bell-note riotously clanging
in the church of your brain
while the solicitous waiter
led you away, wouldn’t you prop

your shaking elbows on the bar
and order your first drink in months,
telling yourself you were lucky
to be alive? And if you wouldn’t

say anything but Mercy or Oh my
or Land sakes, well then
I don’t want to know you anyway
and I don’t give a fuck what you think

of my poem. The world is divided
into those whose opinions matter
and those who will never have
a clue, and if you knew

which one you were I could talk
to you, and tell you that sometimes
there’s only one word that means
what you need it to mean, the way

there’s only one person
when you first fall in love,
or one infant’s cry that calls forth
the burning milk, one name

that you pray to when prayer
is what’s left to you. I’m saying
in the beginning was the word
and it was good, it meant one human

entering another and it’s still
what I love, the word made
flesh. Fuck me, I say to the one
whose lovely body I want close,

and as we fuck I know it’s holy,
a psalm, a hymn, a hammer
ringing down on an anvil,
forging a whole new world.


I remember telling the joke
about child molestation and seeing
the face of the young man I didn’t know well enough
turn from something with light
inside of it into something like
an animal that’s had its brain
bashed in, something like that, some
sky inside him breaking
all over the table and the beers.
It’s amazing, finding out
my thoughtlessness has no bounds,
is no match for any barbarian,
that it runs wild and hard
like the Mississippi. No, the Rio Grande.
No, the Columbia. A great river
of thorns and when this stranger
stood up and muttered
something about a cigarette,
the Hazmat team
in my chest begins to cordon
off my heart, glowing
a toxic yellow, and all I could think
about was the punch line “sexy kids,”
that was it, “sexy kids,” and all the children
I’ve cared for, wiping
their noses, rocking them to sleep,
all the nieces and nephews I love,
and how no one ever
opened me up like a can of soup
in the second grade, the man
now standing on the sidewalk, smoke smothering
his body, a ghost unable
to hold his wrists down
or make a sound like a large knee in between
two small knees, but terrifying and horrible all the same.
I remember telling the joke
about child molestation and seeing
the face of the young man I didn’t know well enough
turn from something with light
inside of it into something like
an animal that’s had its brain
bashed in, something like that, some
sky inside him breaking
all over the table and the beers.
It’s amazing, finding out
my thoughtlessness has no bounds,
is no match for any barbarian,
that it runs wild and hard
like the Mississippi. No, the Rio Grande.
No, the Columbia. A great river
of thorns and when this stranger
stood up and muttered
something about a cigarette,
the Hazmat team
in my chest begins to cordon
off my heart, glowing
a toxic yellow, and all I could think
about was the punch line “sexy kids,”
that was it, “sexy kids,” and all the children
I’ve cared for, wiping
their noses, rocking them to sleep,
all the nieces and nephews I love,
and how no one ever
opened me up like a can of soup
in the second grade, the man
now standing on the sidewalk, smoke smothering
his body, a ghost unable
to hold his wrists down
or make a sound like a large knee in between
two small knees, but terrifying and horrible all the same.

'The Overlook maze is the only maze to be planted this century. It consists of over a mile and a half of pathways and can take up to 90 minutes to find your way out from the center. However, there is a system by which you can more easily find your way out. Whenever you come to a new junction, take any path you like. Whenever you come by a new path to an old junction, turn back. But, whenever you come by an old path to a new junction, take a new path.'

— Instructions for using the Overlook Hotel’s Hedge Maze. Wendy read these instructions to Danny in a scene that was filmed, but not used in the final version of The Shining. (via the-overlook-hotel)


W O R K
I wanted to be a rain salesman,

because rain makes the flowers grow, but because of certain diversions and exhaustions, certain limitations and refusals and runnings low, because of chills and pressures, shaky prisms, big blows, and apes climbing down from banana trees, and dinosaurs weeping openly by glacial shores, and sunlight warming the backsides of Adam and Eve in Eden … I am paid to make the screen of my computer glow, radioactive leakage bearing the song of the smart money muse: this little bleep went to market, this little clunk has none.
The woman who works the cubicle beside me has pretty knees and smells of wild blossoms, but I am paid to work my fingers up and down the keys, an almost sexy rhythm, king of the chimpanzees picking fleas from his beloved. I wanted to be a rain salesman , but that’s a memory I keep returning to my childhood for minor repairs: the green sky cracking, then rain, and after, those flowers growing faster than I can name them, those flowers that fix me and and make me stare.
I wanted to be a rain salesman, carrying my satchel full of rain from door to door, selling thunder, selling the way air feels after a downpour, but there were no openings in the rain department, and so they left me dying behind this desk-adding bleeps, subtracting clunks-and I would give a bowl of wild blossoms, some rain, and two shakes of my fist at the sky to be living. Above my desk, lounging in a bed of brushstroke flowers, a woman beckons from my cheap Modigliani print, and I know by the way she gazes that she sees something beautiful  in me. She has green eyes. I am paid to ignore her.
View Larger

W O R K

I wanted to be a rain salesman,

because rain makes the flowers grow,
but because of certain diversions and exhaustions,
certain limitations and refusals and runnings low,
because of chills and pressures, shaky prisms, big blows,
and apes climbing down from banana trees, and dinosaurs
weeping openly by glacial shores, and sunlight warming
the backsides of Adam and Eve in Eden …
I am paid
to make the screen of my computer glow, radioactive
leakage bearing the song of the smart money muse:
this little bleep went to market, this little clunk has none.

The woman who works the cubicle beside me has pretty knees
and smells of wild blossoms, but I am paid to work
my fingers up and down the keys, an almost sexy rhythm,
king of the chimpanzees picking fleas from his beloved.
I wanted to be a rain salesman , but that’s a memory
I keep returning to my childhood for minor repairs:
the green sky cracking, then rain, and after,
those flowers growing faster than I can name them,
those flowers that fix me and and make me stare.

I wanted to be a rain salesman,
carrying my satchel full of rain from door to door,
selling thunder, selling the way air feels after a downpour,
but there were no openings in the rain department,
and so they left me dying behind this desk-adding bleeps,
subtracting clunks-and I would give a bowl of wild blossoms,
some rain, and two shakes of my fist at the sky to be living.
Above my desk, lounging in a bed of brushstroke flowers,
a woman beckons from my cheap Modigliani print, and I know
by the way she gazes that she sees something beautiful
in me. She has green eyes. I am paid to ignore her.



Every morning the maple leaves.
                               Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
            from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
                                             You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
         of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
                   Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
         and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
                                                         You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?
A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
                  Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
            Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
                                                                                               flames everywhere.
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
                that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
                           Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
               I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
         glass, but that comes later.
                                                            And the part where I push you
flush against the wall and every part of your body rubs against the bricks,
            shut up
I’m getting to it.
                                    For a while I thought I was the dragon.
I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was
                                                                                                the princess,
cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle,
          young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with
confidence
            but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,
while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,
                                                               and getting stabbed to death.
                                    Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal.
          You still get to be the hero.
You get magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights!
                  What more do you want?
I make you pancakes, I take you hunting, I talk to you as if you’re
            really there.
Are you there, sweetheart? Do you know me? Is this microphone live?
                                                       Let me do it right for once,
             for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
                   Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
                                                               and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
                               Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
             Hello darling, sorry about that.
                                                       Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
                                    and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
            Especially that, but I should have known.
You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together
            to make a creature that will do what I say
or love me back.
                  I’m not really sure why I do it, but in this version you are not
feeding yourself to a bad man
                                                   against a black sky prickled with small lights.
            I take it back.
The wooden halls like caskets. These terms from the lower depths.
                                                I take them back.
Here is the repeated image of the lover destroyed.
                                                                                               Crossed out.
            Clumsy hands in a dark room. Crossed out. There is something
underneath the floorboards.
                   Crossed out. And here is the tabernacle
                                                                                                reconstructed.
Here is the part where everyone was happy all the time and we were all
               forgiven,
even though we didn’t deserve it.
                                                                    Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
            in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
                           from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
                                                                                              darkness,
                                                                                     suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
                                  in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
          bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
unnatural light,
             my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
And then the airplane, the window seat over the wing with a view
                                                            of the wing and a little foil bag of peanuts.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
          smiling in a way
                    that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
          up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
                                                I looked out the window and said
                                This doesn’t look that much different from home,
            because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.
                                           We walked through the house to the elevated train.
            All these buildings, all that glass and the shiny beautiful
                                                                                             mechanical wind.
We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
            smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
                                                                                      just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you, 
                                 is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
                                                                                                 terrifying. No one
                                                                                 will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
                        here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
            is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
river water.
            Build me a city and call it Jerusalem. Build me another and call it
                                                                                                                 Jerusalem.
                            We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not
what we sought, so do it over, give me another version,
             a different room, another hallway, the kitchen painted over
and over,
             another bowl of soup.
The entire history of human desire takes about seventy minutes to tell.
             Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of time.
                                                                                                 Forget the dragon,
leave the gun on the table, this has nothing to do with happiness.
                                        Let’s jump ahead to the moment of epiphany,
             in gold light, as the camera pans to where
the action is,
             lakeside and backlit, and it all falls into frame, close enough to see
                                                the blue rings of my eyes as I say
                                                                                                   something ugly.
I never liked that ending either. More love streaming out the wrong way,
             and I don’t want to be the kind that says the wrong way.
But it doesn’t work, these erasures, this constant refolding of the pleats.
                                                            There were some nice parts, sure,
all lemondrop and mellonball, laughing in silk pajamas
             and the grains of sugar
                              on the toast, love love or whatever, take a number. I’m sorry
                                                                                  it’s such a lousy story.
Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
                     we have had our difficulties and there are many things
                                                                                                  I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
             years later, in the chlorinated pool.
                                      I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
             these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
                                                            We clutch our bellies and roll on the floor …
             When I say this, it should mean laughter,
not poison.
                  I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
                                                  Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
View Larger
Every morning the maple leaves.
                               Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
            from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
                                             You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
         of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
                   Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
         and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
                                                         You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?
A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
                  Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
            Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
                                                                                               flames everywhere.
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
                that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
                           Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
               I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
         glass, but that comes later.
                                                            And the part where I push you
flush against the wall and every part of your body rubs against the bricks,
            shut up
I’m getting to it.
                                    For a while I thought I was the dragon.
I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was
                                                                                                the princess,
cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle,
          young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with
confidence
            but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,
while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,
                                                               and getting stabbed to death.
                                    Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal.
          You still get to be the hero.
You get magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights!
                  What more do you want?
I make you pancakes, I take you hunting, I talk to you as if you’re
            really there.
Are you there, sweetheart? Do you know me? Is this microphone live?
                                                       Let me do it right for once,
             for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
                   Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
                                                               and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
                               Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
             Hello darling, sorry about that.
                                                       Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
                                    and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
            Especially that, but I should have known.
You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together
            to make a creature that will do what I say
or love me back.
                  I’m not really sure why I do it, but in this version you are not
feeding yourself to a bad man
                                                   against a black sky prickled with small lights.
            I take it back.
The wooden halls like caskets. These terms from the lower depths.
                                                I take them back.
Here is the repeated image of the lover destroyed.
                                                                                               Crossed out.
            Clumsy hands in a dark room. Crossed out. There is something
underneath the floorboards.
                   Crossed out. And here is the tabernacle
                                                                                                reconstructed.
Here is the part where everyone was happy all the time and we were all
               forgiven,
even though we didn’t deserve it.
                                                                    Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
            in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
                           from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
                                                                                              darkness,
                                                                                     suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
                                  in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
          bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
unnatural light,
             my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
And then the airplane, the window seat over the wing with a view
                                                            of the wing and a little foil bag of peanuts.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
          smiling in a way
                    that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
          up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
                                                I looked out the window and said
                                This doesn’t look that much different from home,
            because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.
                                           We walked through the house to the elevated train.
            All these buildings, all that glass and the shiny beautiful
                                                                                             mechanical wind.
We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
            smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
                                                                                      just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
                                 is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
                                                                                                 terrifying. No one
                                                                                 will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
                        here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
            is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
river water.
            Build me a city and call it Jerusalem. Build me another and call it
                                                                                                                 Jerusalem.
                            We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not
what we sought, so do it over, give me another version,
             a different room, another hallway, the kitchen painted over
and over,
             another bowl of soup.
The entire history of human desire takes about seventy minutes to tell.
             Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of time.
                                                                                                 Forget the dragon,
leave the gun on the table, this has nothing to do with happiness.
                                        Let’s jump ahead to the moment of epiphany,
             in gold light, as the camera pans to where
the action is,
             lakeside and backlit, and it all falls into frame, close enough to see
                                                the blue rings of my eyes as I say
                                                                                                   something ugly.
I never liked that ending either. More love streaming out the wrong way,
             and I don’t want to be the kind that says the wrong way.
But it doesn’t work, these erasures, this constant refolding of the pleats.
                                                            There were some nice parts, sure,
all lemondrop and mellonball, laughing in silk pajamas
             and the grains of sugar
                              on the toast, love love or whatever, take a number. I’m sorry
                                                                                  it’s such a lousy story.
Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
                     we have had our difficulties and there are many things
                                                                                                  I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
             years later, in the chlorinated pool.
                                      I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
             these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
                                                            We clutch our bellies and roll on the floor …
             When I say this, it should mean laughter,
not poison.
                  I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
                                                  Quit milling around the yard and come inside.

Poets should get back to saying crazy shit All of the time I am sick of academics or businesspeople telling poets What we should do A poet is a scientist To favor poetry Or science In that both relate to Buddhism However, both are things that melt A purple haze or dawn What sunken in Always a shifting mood, But it’s true, I love you guys and gals Of the wood and word Let’s say whatever it is we please We don’t have to defend anything It is our God-given right to declaim No, let me start again It is our universal law to speak Not an actuary to measure how thin The arguments of our verse To say we make a treatise in language, no No we go on living and living and living on That’s beautiful, and poems are, too Poems and shells These little nothings I pick them up All the livelong day They are the signposts of comfort possible To smooth the jagged edges Of this worried traveler That’s what poems should do And that’s what poets actually do Damn light Always going on in my face I just want a poem to speak of So I go on and on Into the night And the townspeople, they say to you That they may have seen A monster But no no I was only the dawn

Poets should get back to saying crazy shit
All of the time
I am sick of academics or businesspeople telling poets
What we should do
A poet is a scientist
To favor poetry
Or science
In that both relate to Buddhism
However, both are things that melt
A purple haze or dawn
What sunken in
Always a shifting mood,
But it’s true, I love you guys and gals
Of the wood and word
Let’s say whatever it is we please
We don’t have to defend anything
It is our God-given right to declaim
No, let me start again
It is our universal law to speak
Not an actuary to measure how thin
The arguments of our verse
To say we make a treatise in language, no
No we go on living and living and living on
That’s beautiful, and poems are, too
Poems and shells
These little nothings I pick them up
All the livelong day
They are the signposts of comfort possible
To smooth the jagged edges
Of this worried traveler
That’s what poems should do
And that’s what poets actually do
Damn light
Always going on in my face
I just want a poem to speak of
So I go on and on
Into the night
And the townspeople, they say to you
That they may have seen
A monster
But no no I was only the dawn


Meridian 
1.
This is not the first time and I am not The purest grain at the bottom of the bowl. You are not the first meat to rotate over fire, Each wave is not heaved onto a new beach,
Rising from the ocean of touches A rhyme of wrists and ankles A riddle of seaweed and bone: Did we gallop into other skins to this same drum?    Is it rhythm Or echo—scapula and flattened palm moistened and folding into one?
We have loved before. We have entered the body of other bodies. But our eyes swear they are meeting for the first time. Our minds are working harder on this embrace Than our arms could imagine.
2.
Under the fraction of stars and seaweed and sighs, Those sturdy leather shoes pulled you into the sea. Like two blind calves they carried you on their backs
And I followed, our jellyfish sleeves Billowing out, then clinging To each new wave.
 Fleshy hands. Moonlight of teeth, Your middle name beating between my ribs. The tide does nothing but divide and divide.
I cannot go to the sea without dragging you along. In every ruined shoe lies the memory: That salt of your breath crystallized, the method Of your hands, your name rushing between my ankles. View Larger

Meridian

1.

This is not the first time and I am not
The purest grain at the bottom of the bowl.
You are not the first meat to rotate over fire,
Each wave is not heaved onto a new beach,

Rising from the ocean of touches
A rhyme of wrists and ankles
A riddle of seaweed and bone:
Did we gallop into other skins to this same drum?
   Is it rhythm
Or echo—scapula and flattened palm moistened and folding into one?

We have loved before. We have entered the body of other bodies.
But our eyes swear they are meeting for the first time.
Our minds are working harder on this embrace
Than our arms could imagine.

2.

Under the fraction of stars and seaweed and sighs,
Those sturdy leather shoes pulled you into the sea.
Like two blind calves they carried you on their backs

And I followed, our jellyfish sleeves
Billowing out, then clinging
To each new wave.


Fleshy hands. Moonlight of teeth,
Your middle name beating between my ribs.
The tide does nothing but divide and divide.

I cannot go to the sea without dragging you along.
In every ruined shoe lies the memory:
That salt of your breath crystallized, the method
Of your hands, your name rushing between my ankles.


if you must hide yourself from love
It is important to face the rear of the train
as it leaves the republic. Not that all
 
departing is yearning. First love is
a factory. We sleep in a bed that had once
 
been a tree. Nothing is forgot.
Yet facts, over time, lose their charm,
 
warned a dying Plato. You have to isolate
the lies you love. Are we any less
 
photorealistic? I spot in someone's Face-
book sonogram a tiny dictum
 
full of syllogisms. One says: all kisses come
down to a hole in the skull,
 
toothpaste and gin; therefore your eyes
are bull, your mouth is a goal.
View Larger
if you must hide yourself from love

It is important to face the rear of the train
as it leaves the republic. Not that all
 
departing is yearning. First love is
a factory. We sleep in a bed that had once
 
been a tree. Nothing is forgot.
Yet facts, over time, lose their charm,
 
warned a dying Plato. You have to isolate
the lies you love. Are we any less
 
photorealistic? I spot in someone's Face-
book sonogram a tiny dictum
 
full of syllogisms. One says: all kisses come
down to a hole in the skull,
 
toothpaste and gin; therefore your eyes
are bull, your mouth is a goal.