Tagged: the Earth

Mink Teddy Bear

to exist beyond
the worst
having happened

is not the end
of fear
but a full lap

the kids will
often
bring me things

one brings a mermaid
I take its
temperature

one brings
a transformer
it lights up

another brings
a bear that is so soft
it feels alive

maybe it is alive
we’ll keep
its secret

it hides
in the child’s
arms

slips
behind
the voice

around the breath
beneath
the door

mutating, undulate
along
the air

evading
its end
by

pretending
it’s
not real

Worm-Like

once I let the machines
repair my body
they power washed my stomach
drilled relief
into my tail
one guy spent the entire time
in my jaw, just scraping
they must have missed some
anxiety, I guess – what I
described to my parents as
a knife above my chest
not stabbing, just hovering there
I’ve got it down to my tummy
I’m trying to push it out
I’ve ejected my appendix
anxiety – what I describe now
as a strange fungus
aboard a ship
oh to cut it loose
watch it drift into the cold
never to return
never to wonder if you love me
to devalue your love so
never to make things wrong
because it’s easier
because I know these things by
prescription, or strand
because I blame them
or make them disappear to
appear changed
it’s still here
it’s in the room with us now
one day I will loose my hair
my eyesight
my home planet
one day there will be a voice
the one who keeps anxiety
at all costs
from reaching my hands
the poles
dowels in every pore
tie the rope you tie
around my wrists
nothing can escape when we go

Playing Dead

for a possum to play dead effectively
it can’t look too good
evolutionary priority is given
to the ugly – the mottled fur
the hairless face like carrion
the chitinous tail, the smell

if a possum chooses another
she will do so for its longevity
its eligibility based on ugliness
therefore beauty
the young are carried on the stomach

tight against fat hanging
towards the ground, dragging
through ticks and the litter
disgusting, undesirable
reliable

no one comes for the possum
not the hungry, nor the thirsty
the possum does not pretend
to be alive – it is therefore safe
it is ready to drop dead
at any moment

a long, upturned smile
the secret – to live precisely
when you must

Fear of Dying

I beg the stars to move –
that is, to have died already
I’m still uncertain of their distance
now more than ever

what would happen if I ate one?
would it kill me? if I sleep
facing the sky, will it breathe me?
if I get bit, will I die?

I am unsure about so much
what does a virus want?
which is the universe
and which is the galaxy?

is it cicadas? or static on
spirit headlamps? or
Denis Johnson’s feverish
kazoo music?

could be just a bug
am I doing the right thing?
where do I place
the needs that could kill me?

Missy

Our girl hears Missy Elliot
on the radio, 95.9 – The Throwbacks
She knows all the words the way
you don’t really, just play the sounds
so when she enunciates GO DOWNTOWN
EAT IT LIKE A VULT-CHA we laugh
She knows that part, of course, but
then again she does know vultures
She jumps off the couch and soars
like a vulture. She dries her hair over
her face like a vulture does its wings
She puts her hands up against the light
– a shadow puppet vulture
She is black and furthest away
She sees vultures and takes binoculars
but can’t find them
The light is too bright

Candida

your heart will hurry
to the places it’s been
a note tied to its leg
what if the quiet place

in your mind vanishes, or
worse, is given to someone else?
for now though, this is us
this is a city

it shows us its spirits
it calls when the grass
is too long, stops calling
when the grass dies off from sun

where the ice cream truck
does circles, donuts
do your ears hang low
and the occasional BOOIIIOIIINNGG

or HEELLOOO?! we lay
in its sound, having just licked
each other, perpetual lawn mower
I guess the gears of the world

dairy for the diligent whackers
and every house, broken in
on champagne, with its windows
smiling through a baby

under expansion, like most things
built to withstand fire
bison, winter, crop
shortages and floods

termites, outages of power
the way things are
underneath, before eventually
there is a die off

a long low moan without
complaint, the REMEMBER ME
of life that has taken hold
bugs in two dimensions

a flattened Earth holding
more of us, all at once
if she is trying to say something
we wouldn’t know

she is collapsed upon. so
we move forward
in the old way
in which you’re only allowed

to replace yourself

Inheritance

&
here I thought
that was all

an apple a day
if i survive it

cross
like a grapefruit
between
two things

neither of which
i can remember
neither is grape

neither is me
it’s not
as simple as

putting two plants
together, even
in the right conditions

some
just don’t
make anything

Flat Earth

I remember in church
a woman was having trouble
praying to God

sexually abused
by her father and now her husband
she couldn’t take another man

Make God a woman, the pastor
told her. Granted, this
was a Methodist church

Mom liked it for the choir
Dad always felt
he could ignore what he didn’t like

the matter of interpretation
heavy. some things did happen. we
did slay our memories

we did find a dead spot
in the woods
i knew of it

in the way one knows our planet
through pictures
through the elements of trust

wind, fire, through blood
like a meteor disintegrated
how can I ever

get far enough away
to see
what is really the world

to see it touched
by the hands
we are told mean time

and know the forest
for the stars
how on Earth

will I recognize
my mother, her face
like there had been people

After Climbing a Tree

half of you begins alone
cast in doubt among rocks
by chance fossilized
inexplicably timed

asked to trust the atmosphere
to observe your body’s
race into alignment
without really participating

the mind wields
a sword-stick
of soul

time will enclose
the others, their colorful
straws poked through
puddles of air

you learn man
from dangerous man
the mountain range
at which love
becomes too much

you know things like
righty, tighty
lefty, loosey
bleed the faucets
for a freeze

my father will always
come get me, even
if I’m not myself

night brings the sun
in, out of the rain
father’s armpits
smell of brown fruit

you know things like
if I got up here
then I can get down

The Earth Two

when a child picks up something
delicate she often crushes it
or pulls it off the tree

her hand
may as well be
a tube to the brain

the insides of worm
and aloe vera
upward

each first contact
a benevolent ownership
so nothing bad will happen

no, because I
will put it back
such confidence

the minnow, the grape-like
clutch of frog eggs
especially the flower

how do you explain
what is alive?
once we killed savages

I find myself saying
if you leave it, it
will get bigger

as in
there will be
more of it for you

 

“..finding a second Earth is not a matter of if, but when.”
-Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate