Tagged: the Heart

The Most Humane Way Possible

I can see faces
in the trees again
their beards covering
their mouths         their eyes

the spaces of absence
where the grapevine
hasn’t quite
blanked me out of view

we’ve been through so much
they’re expecting a list
but I couldn’t         I can’t
I’m wondering about the farm

you adopted two hens
but must cull
five to six muscovies
the most humane way

is not the easiest
almost never
I wonder if
it’s a huge mistake

then remind myself
that we slept well together at
my parents’
we bought a car

we survived an abortion, an
assault, a freeze, a virus
all of which during
we wanted to pull so tight

like netting and a cone
and pass through         our
rib cages trying but failing
to catch us, breaking

the skin like pin feathers
I must provide life
that is what goes on the table
you must provide love

but I think mine goes first
I must work on balance
I picture cairns, but
not that         something

way more considerate
– mindful of
underwater bugs
maybe she’s here

and that’s why you can’t sleep
I would have loved
to have seen you pregnant
maybe it’s the house

it’s probably me
what’s the most humane
way possible
upside down into a bucket

but we slept so well at
my parents’         loved
so well in the trailer
had options

overcame those options
like mountain climbers
but on soft, little heads
we must attract

the type of good
you can’t feel good about
but it’s what we’d want
if we had the other

Elgin, TX

rain looks likely
which out here
makes us scurry to
burn things
that are piling up

the weed thing
the food thing
the sleep thing
the dreams

stuck together like
broken furniture
intertwined
clinging to each other

I get home and you’re
bored, so I’m scared
you’re the best thing
I’ve got going

I’m throwing
these things in
I see the neighbor’s fire
hit the tree

sparks threaten
to crawl like ants
towards our house
towards me and

all this wood
towards you and
wherever you are
in there

but the rain comes
as expected
it allows the fire to
process without

consuming itself
or so it assumes
as the fire assumes
it can quit when it wants

so more and more
is just thrown in
like us
a getting-through-shit

machine
a knot through which
the accelerant
is love

Creation Story 2

I was meant to give myself
entirely to something
by now

but each time I say it
my face seems smaller
my beard like ivy on a wall

I am both good and
bad things pretended
but in nature

I am exonerated
I have a cat’s
imagination

under the table
this is how I forgive myself
to build without

touching the mountain
to set up all the little
people

I was meant to give myself
entirely to something
by now… can it be you?

you put a blanket
on the window, close off
all rooms to this room

your jar lids pop
in adjacent counties
ice crumbles into the sky

our breath remains obvious
counted
we lower our portions

beyond the curtain
is a frozen planet inside
a warm vent

another chance to make a life
to remake life in our image
a ball of heat

the twelve minute race
however long
we must hold this embrace

Ophelia

always interrupt me for
animals or ghosts

food-related reasons
bathroom

a sound you
hear the car making

my exit
a song on the radio in

need of lifting
or a heavy thing

land upon
my head

wake me up with tears
if I am cold

slipped like petals
on the sheets

like grief
drawn by a fly

or a bird
hiding its hurt

stop me at the edge
if I get too close

hold my body in
point me towards

the beginning
and set me down

When You Travel by Balloon

I worry you will learn something
that takes you away
a balloon you forget
to let go of
or choose not to

I will grab a balloon
and follow, though
in the sky
I have even less
direction

no bones to block it
no blood
maybe they will put
all the reds together
maybe it has to do with the air

it is exhausting trying to plan
my plans, I fear, are me
choice animating thought
a quarter machine
who grabbed me? do I have control

over where I am? is
control like a thought
should I let it go? is it the same?
I swim through the air in
my best clothing

careful to match the color of cloud
but it’s different when you’re in it
it’s obvious
it ruins it

don’t go
don’t look at me
don’t go

Why Don’t You Say My Name as Much Anymore

my parents would say Terri – I mean your mother
or David – I mean your father

as if I wouldn’t know who they meant. Or like
they were each hiding some Terris or Davids

we weren’t supposed to know about. I never really
suspected, but I would listen sometimes

put a cup to the wall in my closet
that connected to their bathroom

I’d listen to my mother and father spending time
with Terri and David – coordinating spits

in their sinks – starting the shower for the other –
flushing the toilet. sometimes I’d hear the long lighter

snapping its fingers at the candle. sometimes
I’d hear the tub water. they’d say their lover’s name

– serious business in the house that holds
their children. they must have been in on it together

sometimes I’d fall asleep in the closet listening
my nicer pants and things hanging close to my face

curled up against bags with my name
adorned on them, a clear cup along the carpet

A Love Letter

it feels like a good time…
candles already lit, so
no presumptuous
candle lighting

some of the hourglass
sand is stuck. I wonder if
this like time, then
throw up my mouth a little

but what place other than
a letter to talk about time?
or sand? or being stuck? plus
I am concerned about my hourglass

it’s meant to be 30 minutes
but with sand stuck to the glass
is it quite? how much
time am I getting?

is it the same sand each time?
or does new time replace it?
it’s hard to tell – I flip it
just to see you buried

the Angel of Forgetfulness
blesses me. The Angel of White
Dimples
rebuilds herself

whole temples in her honor
could this be the time
when all of the sand
falls through? and

Forgetfulness retrieves
her blanket?
will I remember having
said yes to this, this life

and potentially others?
what did I see up there
that meant
enduring a human body

was it your body? It could
have been your body
was it something that needed
to be done?

have I done it?
can I keep doing it? is there any
question but the one I have already
answered yes to…

…is this a good time? 

Return

if you ask me to tell you
the code, I can’t do it
I need it in my hands

like your hands
which I feel and
remember with confidence

remember the world
as it was? a root
protruding from the rock

that you perched on
that lead your heart
into touch out of darkness

improbably to me
the mud where
you fell as a bird

I preserved you
curled myself beneath
your weight and

proudly displayed
your feathers
and was adorned by you

now we meet again
there’s a bird
in the roof of your mouth

and it’s like we died
enough times
holding the right ally

the ally holding
something of ours
in return

Battery Effect

tonight it has been red

then yellow, then luminous white
I think coral, copper, cotton, rattle

at one point it was below the water
before that it had never left

now it’s here, and I know instantly
that I know something, just not what

maybe I feel the moon’s knowing, or I
heard something, the stars

discussing the moon’s politics on the Earth
children in their adult poses

doing mounted police, fixing the sink
kings and queens

with bull’s heads, stomping the water
they don’t play the root, as you have

or me, the stone with a root in it
we are fixed to the hood of the Earth

the sun does a firm bounce off the moon
it goes down a corridor before

coming back, unlocking the next
entrance, and the next, perhaps everything

a baby gate opens, the milky way opens
we are ferried to our rooms in secret

swept in by birds, to be checked on
later, though they know we will be gone

in their wisdom they can see themselves coming
as I have seen myself coming, and you

our mouths open to the same phase
your blood a belt of red, the candles yellow

my reach a luminous white