“But, on the other hand, there were the leaves. Mrs. Darling examined them very carefully; they were skeleton leaves, but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England.” -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan Move on, they say, but where shall I go? I try to fall into another. He kneels at my feet, worships the hem of my dress, tells me I am the most beautiful girl he has ever held. He crushes my ribs when he holds me. He leaves bruises on my throat when he kisses me, shaped like islands in the [...]
I could put these time bombs In a God-jar, let some higher angel Keep them. Cigarettes. Music. Weeds. Grace. The men I love, born with the mercy card up their sleeve. Impossible to make a voodoo doll of. I look at the dark, soft hair reaching below the ears, their Jesus complex, how it's necessary for them to have at least 7 followers. Each one an only son I cannot confess to, cannot say how I wake from a calm sleep to find my body stuffed with down, hops and grapevines, nettle a choker around my throat. [...]
As wistful as any portrait from El Libro de Santos was the dream of a spear branding me a sinner. Little by little I see clear to giving myself away. This rib for Moses, this rib for Michael. This rib for James, and this for John, the deserter and Jesus the enforcer. Their bellies are full of me. You need to know lust has a smell, pain has a scent, death is a flowerbed. You need to know somebody loves you. Let me show you these stars, Christmas red, holy silver and gold, royal blue and jamboree green. Let me [...]
The bone festish close in your shirt pocket, the worry beads, the medicine stone. Your Souvenirs of Love. Where I write there is an iridescent morpho butterfly from Brazil, three times the size of a monarch, pinned in a black frame so that its colors are the only movement it can make. Souvenirs of Love. The morphine inside us, the poppy springing from our mouths. How drowning is necessary to a dry seed. Years ago in Los Angeles I was waiting for Salvatore to arrive and take me to Venice, the half-mythical shore full of ghosts and children and sailors [...]
A broken starfish becomes, in the course of time two new ones. No loss or memory of loss although equipped with a collection of eyes. The rapture, the healing of starfish in the middle of so much blue is remarkable. They are used to growing miracles. They are used to reaching out and finding what they need. No one ever tells them they are merely husks that were shed from the burning stars above.
And Delilah said Come, Sit down beside me, Rest you head against my knees. And Delilah sang softly to him And stroked his hair Back away from his eyes. And Samson’s hair in the sunlight Shined with flecks of gold And amber. And Delilah said Come Tell me everything that is In your heart, What gives you strength? And Samson was weakened By Delilah’s fingers Tangled in his hair, And her voice drumming gently In his ears. And when he had told her his strength She called the lions in And they gave her money for [...]
For Greg Bechle Prayers like bees Emulating the crossing over. Pine shavings burned On charcoal disks. Shin-do: Of the Heart and Mind. After the ceremony, An 81 year old woman with one leg I’m pushing in a wheelchair up a stony hill. She hands me a cigarette, And lights one for herself. Truth. Crossing over. Of the heart and mind.
For Hugh Ogden, Poet, fallen through the ice on 12/31/06 The temperature was higher than normal That day, but we were poet’s right? You can’t let fragility stop you. Besides, we’d walked on water often. We could change the degree of things With our words. The whole world was celebrating that night, A cold world Embracing a new year. People were pushing for the future, Far, blessed and wide. But remember the end of that year, And how we all fall through An imperfect surface Trying to cross To the other side.
Twice removed, The boy moves through life, Poppies and death at his door. He is all Grimm tales & glitter. I tend the fire in my rags, But I am beautiful, Flames at the edge of my skirt, Violins from the hills, And he unaware That I am the queen of swords. A hundred years ago in the dance hall I wore a flower on my breast And moved in absentia. In between worlds I was part of the singing dead, Wayward in the final scheme.
Come, the scythes chatter as they harvest gold, and the late Fall light shadows the Virgin in the alcove. For the world to be stricken as the November landscape; to give up its color and stand naked, unashamed. They are dark, these hallways of humanity. A voice asks: What have we done to our children? New legends, like a red sunflower, man-made, come to fill our gardens, our streets, our doorways with submission. And all day, the young girls smoking and talking, laughing and smoking as if smoking could lessen the weight of love.