Tagged: the Body

Its Parallel Existence

Formerly of love appears
on grainy 90s television
She takes down my shorts by the pool
Her mouth is full of ice, if I remember, or
I tried to run

I remember my first kiss. I wiped it away
I remember I peed on a girl’s foot in line
to the diving board. If I saw her today, I’d maintain

it was dripping water, formerly
of ice, that it was unseasonably cold that day
not too cold

               Snow untwisted from the curtain
Duck, dinosaur, contagion fused together
We had to get out of the pool
There is no end, it seems, to these
lines that never touch

Infinite Divisibility

maybe we adopt
a highway first
pluck the hairs off its back
spray poison
on the cans as folks
drive dead
down the middle of us
ignoring signs
of what to ask, when
& how come
our trash bags, our rival
lemonade stands
freshly squeezed
piles of request
husks of yellow wanting
shimmering in the sun
ants lubricated. is there
a little bit of juice left
in everything?
like a theory of things
cut in half forever. like
half of us is still here
in each of us, even
if we can’t see it
even if we hate each other
seeing us like this
the objects, the objective
literally broken
a man pulls over
& asks for a glass of milk
we both feel bad
for not having any
we give directions, but
neither of us has been
past this point
the grass unkempt
& green on either side
hiding the mile markers
at the number of times
I have had sex with you
& you have had sex
with me

When You Ask Right After If I Am Happy

sometimes when I look in your eyes I am
measuring the distance between your eyes
to see if you can be swallowed

I am enticing your outline to stuff its way
through my body. your head first, then
your shoulders making a wingspan of ribs

your middle and hips go easier – a struggling
crane becomes the air inside it, the water
inside a person

you are both obviously there, and not there
in a way that seems to suit me. do I suit you?
I am all around you, yet I move so little

the animal comes closest to enjoying its life
in these moments, after it is fed, when
it does not have to think about eating

Health Class

in health class we were taught
the respectful way
to sit in a room full of
desks that face each other. still,
the boys would race
to the front row to see
which of the girls wasn’t
wearing any panties, which
hadn’t folded their legs,
which had hemmed
their jean shorts
shorter

boys,
are we chasing girls?
or chasing the first boy?

that year
a man in a flowered shirt came
he put a condom on a carrot
the carrot was sharp, but it
did not break the condom
i remember thinking
it could not have been
his first choice vegetable

Bell

the dog with large, obvious
balls is out again. his balls
don’t drag on the ground or
anything, but he supports them
gingerly, bow-legged, as if
he were smuggling a bell
i watch him move between
want and want – other dogs, the
roasted corn smell of houses
being built, exercisers –
he is in my neighbor’s yard
when a Code Compliance truck
comes rolling by
someone has called in outrage
about the dog
his balls are so obvious.
they fear he will rape their animals
attack their children
i turn to my own dog
he is no longer sleeping
something like a distant bell
has woken him
he stands in the hallway
quietly, staring at the door

Frances

If you were like this all the time
I could stay,
she said. I had just thrown
her body across the kitchen island
proceeded to kiss her everywhere
through her clothes
through her self

There is a thin layer of self
over everything. Plastic sheeting
covers whole neighborhoods. Hordes
of caution-taped men, marauding
Our skin the banks of a river

I remember going days
without drinking. I crawled out
to the river’s island, where the water
was clear and fast-moving, and I
let the water pour into my open mouth
My partner, who had gone

the same number of days
took out his knife and cut a stalk
of bamboo from the bank
He filled it up and stabbed
a hole in the bottom, to drink
from the steady drip

He did not trust what his body
wanted, which is everything,
which is to already have done
what is needed to do

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

I see those kids again
Her pink hair. His hands
attached to her
butt pockets. Walking down
Airport

Walking down the trail
overlooking the Fire Academy’s
training center. It is more
of a wading

than a walking, the way
they synchronize
their leg movements. They
move as if through

cool ooze, the morass
of skipping classes,
the way a day passes
when you are young

I lose them behind
the Fire Academy stairwell
A fire truck ladder
lands on an open window
Recruits scramble up

And the sun sits. It seems
to think the same long thought
it’s been thinking
since we were born